MEXICO, Guadalupe Island - November 2002
Maintenance of goat exclosure fences
(Mexico, Guadalupe Island 2000 project page)
In December 2000, Seacology provided funding to the Island Conservation and Ecology Group (ICEG) to construct numerous fenced exclosures to keep goats out of fragile areas. Since that time, there has been a dramatic change inside the exclosures and there are over 150 new Guadalupe Pine seedlings. These could become the first pines on Guadalupe to reach maturity in over 100 years. Seacology is providing funds to ICEG to maintain these fences and ensure protection of the regenerating plant species.*
UPDATE November 2003 - The goat exclosure fence construction was completed in late 2001. The Mexican government has pledged $600,000 to assist in the removal of goats from the island, and has stated that restoring Guadalupe Island is a top priority for 2003/2004.
UPDATE July 2004 - This year, pine seedlings within the fence are now a meter tall and many endemic plants are thriving, some that have not been seen on the island for 20 years or more. The Mexican government's pledge to assist in goat removal was approved and removal of animals is scheduled to begin this summer.
UPDATE June 2005 - As of May 2005 almost all goats are off the island and natural restoration of endemic plants is underway. Because goats are almost completely eradicated, the rest of the island is starting to catch up to the exclosure. Annual grasses are fairly similar in and outside the exclosure, unlike when goats were present. All the Guadalupe Island pines inside the exclusure are continuing to grow; some of them are almost 2m tall. Six plants that were thought to be extinct have already been found and the population of one of the endemic trees has gone from less than 200 adults to well over 2000 seedlings and saplings. In April 2005 President Fox signed a decree making Guadalupe and the surrounding waters a biosphere reserve.
UPDATE June 2008 - In May 2008 project leaders at Island Conservation sent Seacology an article reporting on the continued success of restoring native plants and birds on the islands in Western Mexico. The article was published in Ambio, Vol 37, No. 2, March 2008, entitled "High-impact Conservation: Invasive Mammal Eradications for the Islands of Western Mexico."