A European Mantis was spotted just off Smugglers Cove on Santa Cruz Island by David Kushner. TH find prompted discussion among island biologists and based in incidental observations over the last two decades, it is believed that the species was introduced to Santa Cruz Island in the early to mid 2000’s.
October 27, 2016. Several small populations of Stinkweed were detected on Naval Base Ventura County Point Mugu in the old Public Works yard. This invasive plant had not been spotted since 2011, when Greg Omori found it on Mugu. There are no other reports of this species in Ventura County, but occurs along the coast in San Diego and has been recorded once in Los Angeles County, as far as Southern California goes. Spreading through soil and gravel, this species is mostly found in disturbed areas, roadsides, sandy/gravelly lots, or other heavily constructed areas.
October 16, 2016. Termite-infested wood pallets were discovered by the San Nicolas Island biologist after they had been transported to San Nicolas Island. This was a species not known to San Nicolas Island. The pallets were transported through the island via an aircraft that departed from Point Mugu, but is unknown if the pallets were provided by the Navy or if they came from the sales point of origin. Two of the three pallets were infected, and all three were burned immediately after discovery of the termites, as suggested by experts. This sighting emphasizes the importance of cargo inspections for biosecurity threats.
March 2016, A German Shepard swam to San Clemente Island after falling off a fishing boat. The dog was presumed to be lost at sea, but was recovered from San Clemente after more than a month on the island.
For the second year we've discovered Sahara Mustard Plants at the camp site area of Christy Ranch, Santa Cruz Island. It is likely that a researcher, student or restoration specialist brought mustard seeds to this spot in their tent or other gear, resulting in an annual population of the plant A sustained control and eradication effort will be in effect for many years to come. This is a good reminder to thoroughly check your gear before bringing it to the island.
A Crested Caracara was first spotted by Ania Wrona on Santa Rosa Island on April 6, 2014 in Pocket Field. The bird traveled from Santa Rosa Island to Santa Cruz Island and was spotted by David Dewey at the Main Ranch on April 23, 2014. Additional sightings over the next few months were reported on Anacapa Island, and Santa Catalina Island.