The Catalina Island fox has made a remarkable recovery since its nadir in 1999 when it was on the brink of extinction. But now the animal's successful comeback has sparked an increase in deadly run-ins with its human neighbors.
In 1999, due to an outbreak of canine distemper virus, the fox population on the island dwindled to an estimated 199, according to The Catalina Island Conservancy. But a management program fostered by the conservancy used a combination of captive breeding, vaccination, and monitoring initiatives to help the animal's numbers rebound.
Today, there are an estimated 1,400 foxes on the island, more than its highest numbers before the population first crashed.
This success has come at an unfortunate cost, however, as the paths of people and fox more frequently collide.
The conservancy says in 2014 at least 25 foxes died on the island. Most (21) were due to the animals being hit by cars, while other causes of death included drowning in uncovered water containers (2), run-ins with dogs (1), and ingestion of rat poison (1).