Guadalupe Island is a remote island 150 miles off the Pacific coast of Baja California. The island has an exceptional concentration of endemic species, including 34 endemic plants. This 160-square-kilometer island, one of Mexico’s largest and most biologically important, is a Special Biosphere Reserve. It is, however, a classic “paper park,” with little actual management or protection.
Goats, which were introduced to the island 150 years ago, have devastated Guadalupe’s plant species. After a century and a half of grazing, there have been five global extinctions and 15 local extinctions of plant species on Guadalupe. If the goats keep grazing freely, it will cause more degradation of the island, and more plant species will disappear.
Seacology has provided funding to the Island Conservation & Ecology Group to build fences around ten of the most sensitive areas of the island, to keep goats out. While demarcating the protected areas, local farmers and biologists identified two endemic plant species thought to be extinct.