Sea Wolf seeks to spare foxes

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November 1995:

SAN RAFAEL, Calif.––The Sea
Wolf Alliance is seeking final U.S. Fish
and Wildlife Service approval for an experiment
in the nonlethal humane extirpation
of non-native blue foxes from Elma and
Inikla islands in the eastern Aleutians, to
be supervised by Alaska Maritime National
Wildlife Refuge senior biologist Ed Bailey.
“If the immuno-contraceptive
which is the subject of our study proves to
be permanent in blue foxes,” reports Sea
Wolf Alliance president Jeanne McVey, “it
will be used by the USFWS in place of
lethal methods of fox removal, such as
leghold traps and cyanide. On some of the
larger, more rugged islands, our immunocontraceptive
will, we hope, be used in
place of poisoned drop-baits.”

The idea is to manage the foxes to
extinction by preventing reproduction. The
effort is to be led by wildlife veterinarian L.
Lieblad, advised by Dr. Jay Kirkpatrick.
USFWS has been trying to kill
the foxes since the mid-1960s, explains
McVey, “to restore nesting grounds for
seabirds and waterfowl who evolved without
terrestrial predators. The introduction
of foxes to these islands early this century
for the purpose of commercial pelt production
was an ecological catastrophe, and led
to the near-extinction of the Aleutian
Canada goose and other species.”
Donations toward the project may
be sent to the Sea Wolf Alliance at POB
150818, San Rafael, CA 94915.

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