IMPACT OF A SARCOPTIC MANGE EPIDEMIC ON A POPULATION OF ENDANGERED SAN JOAQUIN KIT FOXES
|Erica C Kelly; Endangered Species Recovery Program; email@example.com; Brian L. Cypher, Tory L. Westall, Nicole A. Deatherage, Jaime L. Rudd, Deana L. Clifford, Janet E. Foley
A population of endangered San Joaquin kit foxes (Vulpes macrotis mutica) occurs in the city of Bakersfield, CA. In spring 2013, sarcoptic mange was detected in this population and the disease quickly spread. In January 2019, the disease appeared in a smaller kit fox population in nearby Taft, CA. Over the last 9 years there have been over 474 reports of kit foxes with mange, 100 confirmed deaths, 141 foxes treated in the field, and 155 foxes treated at the California Living Museum (CALM). In conjunction with treating foxes, the Endangered Species Recovery Program (ESRP) has also conducted an annual citywide camera survey in Bakersfield since 2015 and Taft since 2019 to assess mange among kit foxes and its spatial spread. The data collected is consistent with opportunistic sightings, trapping efforts, and reports from the public, all of which indicate a substantial decline in the urban kit fox population. The periodic confirmation of healthy foxes throughout both urban areas as well as population modeling indicates that the disease will remain indefinitely. Mange response, camera survey monitoring, and research projects will continue in order to treat sick foxes and further study the effects of mange on the urban kit fox population.