|Photo Credit: World Wildlife Fund|
The identity of this week's Who Am I? puzzle is named for one of my heroes. I added a picture of this hero as a visual hint, but I was a bit tricky - I used a picture of this hero as a rather aimless college grad rather than the mature image everyone recognizes from their high school biology textbook.
Charles Darwin discovered these foxes in 1834.
Our canine is Darwin's Fox (Pseudalopex fulvipes), a critically endangered species found in only two places in the world. One population lives in Chile, in the Nahuelbuta National Park. This is the group at the most risk. The other population is found on the Chilean island of Chiloè.
|Dogs are one of my biggest threats!|
Photo Credit: Kevin Schafer
Darwin's Fox lives in the temperate forests. When fully wild they eat mammals, reptiles, berries, seeds, and small invertebrates. Unfortunately the Nahuelbuta National Park does not enforce its policies on feeding wildlife and on bringing dogs into the Park. Unleashed dogs and their diseases are one of the largest threats to the foxes there. Foxes that become habituated to humans because they are fed often venture into parking areas where they are run over - they like to sleep under the cars.
These threats are not present in the Chiloé National Park, where 90% of the remaining 250 individuals are living. Thus the island population has the best hope of survival.
Darwin's Fox is not quite as obscure as I thought when I began researching it. World Wildlife Fund even offers an adoption kit, including a plush Darwin's Fox!
|You want one now, don't you?|