The Channel Islands Maritime Museum is proud to welcome Keri Dearborn and Mike Watling of Friends of the Island Fox to its 2021 Speaker Series on Wednesday, February 17th, starting 5:30 pm. Due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, this will be an on-line event on the Museum’s website at www.cimmvc.org.

Between 1994 and 2000 the populations of island foxes on four of the Channel Islands plunged toward extinction. On Santa Rosa Island, the population dropped from over 1,700 to 15 individual animals. Why did this happen? Why was the island fox vital to the entire island ecosystem? How was near-tragedy transformed into the most successful recovery of an endangered species in North American history? Come discover the unique ecosystems of the California Channel Islands with Keri and Mike as they reveal new findings from the world of the Channel Island Fox and how a community working together can save a species.

About the Speakers: Keri Dearborn has and MA in Environmental Education and has been Friends of the Island Fox Education Director since 2005. She is an avid birder and a non-fiction author and poet. Mike Watling works in the biomedical industry and is a member of the Friends of the Island Fox Advisory Committee. As a member of Channel Islands National Park’s Naturalist Corps, he is FIF’s resident wanderer. He tracks island foxes several weekends a month.

About Friends of the Island Fox: Friends of the Island Fox, a program of Channel Islands Restoration, is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization which supports efforts to preserve and protect the island fox (Urocyon littoralis) on the California Channel Islands through conservation and education programs.

About Channel Islands Maritime Museum: Located in Oxnard’s Channel Islands Harbor at 3900 Bluefin Circle, the Museum’s galleries feature rare and beautiful maritime paintings dating back to the 1600’s, more than sixty world-class models of historic ships, rotating thematic fine arts exhibitions, and interactive exhibits that encourage visitors to expand their horizons about everything maritime. The Museum is temporarily closed due to State of California restirctions relating to COVID-19.

Editor's Note: this story was published on Feb. 5, 2021.