The Channel Islands are often called “The Galapagos of North America” due to their isolation from the mainland and their many endemic plants and animals.  The naturally rare island endemic species were particularly hard hit by the numerous non-native plants and animals that were introduced during recent centuries.  In fact, introduction of nonnative species to the Channel Islands has imperiled many plants and animals. The current island managers now highly prioritize the need to manage or eliminate non-native animals in order to protect endemic species and native ecosystems. Eradication of non-native animals is a part of the broader ecosystem restoration programs that are ongoing and will continue.

Some of the non-native animals, such as cattle, sheep, pigs, and goats, were introduced intentionally because of their commercial value or for other purposes.  Some non-natives, such as Argentine ants, earwigs, and rats, were introduced accidentally.   For the past five decades, there have been a large number of successes in the eradication of non-native animals from the Channel Islands.  Every island and every eradication story is different.  However, the common thread is that the island ecosystems and the endemic species have responded positively every time a non-native animal has been eliminated.

- Kate Faulkner, Retired Chief of Natural Resources, Channel Islands National Park

Table Of non-native mammals on the CALIFORNIA Islands, 

Past and Present With Links to Published Literature


              San Miguel    Santa Rosa    Santa Cruz   Anacapa  Santa Barbara     San Nicolas     Santa Catalina     San Clemente    Guadalupe

Bison                                                                                                                                                                                   Present

Cats                                                                                                                                                      Eliminated          Present                  Present                Present

Cattle                                  Eliminated      Eliminated

Deer                                    Eliminated                                                                                                                          Present

Donkeys    Eliminated

Elk                                      Eliminated

Goats                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Eliminated          Eliminated

Pigs                                     Eliminated         Eliminated                                                                                             Eliminated

Rabbits                                                                                      Eliminated      Eliminated

Rats         Present                                                                     Eliminated                                                                    Present                  Present                Present

Sheep                                                                Eliminated