Bringing a Delicate Ecosystem Back to Balance

San Nicolas Island, located 61 miles due west of Los Angeles, is the most remote of the eight islands in the Channel Island Archipelago. The island is owned and managed by the U.S. Navy and boasts numerous wildlife, including the endemic San Nicolas island fox, the island night lizard, nesting seabirds, and breeding seals and sea lions.  . For decades, feral cats had been preying upon native wildlife on San Nicolas Island. In 2009, MSRP partnered with the U.S. Navy, Island Conservation, Institute for Wildlife Studies, and The Humane Society of the United States to remove the feral cat population completely from San Nicolas Island. The main goal of this project was to protect nesting seabirds from predation by the feral cats. The removal of the cats would also boost fox populations that competed with the cats for food and the island night lizard which was a main prey item of the cats.

During this project, MSRP removed 66 adult cats and 10 kittens from San Nicolas Island. Of these, 59 adult cats and the kittens were transferred to The Humane Society of the United States who built an enclosure for them at the Fund for Animals Wildlife Center in Ramona, California. Intensive monitoring with cameras has occurred on the island since December 2009. Over 27,000 camera sensing nights were logged since June of 2010 without cat detection.  An event on San Nicolas Island was held on Feb. 15, 2012 marking the completion of this project and declaring the island cat-free.

San Nicolas Island Partner Fact Sheet

Facts about San Nicolas Island Seabird Restoration Project

The Humane Society of the United States

Photos

Slideshow of San Nicolas Island

Photos of San Nicolas Island Restoration Project

Press Release

Event Marks Successful Completion of Seabird Restoration Project on San Nicolas Island