Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1983

Comments

Intentional introduction of exotic animals can normally be expected to yield unanticipated biological consequences. Single-purpose introductions frequently result in ecological catastrophe. Islands are particularly vulnerable to such assault.

Arctic foxes (Alopex lagopus), released for the purpose of fur farming on the Aleutian Islands formerly devoid of land predators, have significantly altered nesting avifaunal diversity, abundance and productivity. A program for restoring the historic distribution and abundance of critically affected bird species is described. In a long-term study biological control methods are proposed to test the hypothesis that introduced sterile red foxes (Vulpes fulva), apparently a competitively superior species, will markedly reduce or extirpate resident Arctic foxes.