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Removing Feral Cats from San Nicolas Island

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Date: January 5, 2010
Contact: Yvonne Menard, 805-658-5725

During the January “From Shore to Sea” lectures, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) biologist Annie Little will discuss how recent efforts to remove feral cats from San Nicolas Island will help restore native wildlife.

Little will explain the impacts of feral cats on seabirds and other native animal species inhabiting the island. Starting in the summer of 2009 a comprehensive effort was initiated to completely remove the non-native cats from San Nicolas. Little’s talk will review the project’s purpose, history, and current status. 

San Nicolas, one of eight Channel Islands, is a U.S. Navy facility used for weapons testing and training. It is the outermost island of the chain, located 65 nautical miles southwest of Ventura. The feral cat removal is a joint project between the military, USFWS, and the Montrose Settlements Restoration Program (MSRP)—a multi-agency government program dedicated to restoring natural resources harmed by DDTs and PCBs released into the environment.

Little, who has worked for USFWS since 1996, also serves as the lead bird biologist for MSRP. In addition to working extensively on the Channel Islands, she has done fieldwork in other remote places, including Ecuador and the subantarctic island of Crozet. She has a biology degree from the University of California, San Diego.

The “From Shore to Sea” lecture series is jointly sponsored by Channel Islands National Park and Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary with support from Santa Barbara Maritime Museum. The purpose of the series is to further the understanding of current research on the Channel Islands and surrounding waters. The lectures occur at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 12, 2010, at Santa Barbara Maritime Museum, 113 Harbor Way in the Santa Barbara Harbor and Wednesday,
January 13, 2010, at the Channel Islands National Park Robert J. Lagomarsino Visitor Center,
1901 Spinnaker Drive in the Ventura Harbor. The programs are free and open to the public.

Did You Know?

Brown pelican on nest

The Channel Islands are home to the largest breeding colonies of seabirds in southern California.