San Clemente Island Goat
Capra aegagrus hircus

Island Living

San Clemente Island is the southernmost of the eight Channel Islands of California. It is a part of Los Angeles County but is owned and operated by the United States Navy. Two-thirds of the island is a buffer zone where no human activity is allowed. The buffer zone exists around the Navy’s artillery testing site. It is here that native flora and fauna still exist. The Navy spends around $7 million to protect the island’s endangered or threatened wildlife. The habitats of the endangered species are closely monitored, and the Navy adjusts its practices as needed.


Unknown Origins

Nobody knows where the San Clemente Island goats originally came from, but biologists agree they are a non-native species, most likely brought to the island from nearby Santa Catalina Island in the late 1800’s. For a long while, most assumed San Clemente Island goats were related to Spanish goats because their horns are similar. However, in a DNA study conducted in 2007 between The Livestock Conservancy and University of Cordoba in Spain, researchers found that they are a genetically distinct breed unrelated to the numerous other breeds in the study. More research is required to further explore the San Clemente Island goat’s origins.


Goat Conservation

By the 1950’s, many of the island’s native plants were overgrazed, and many were in danger of becoming extinct, as the herds of feral goats were reproducing faster than they could be controlled. A team of trappers arrived and collected several thousand goats to be neutered and domesticated. Only a few hundred were left as breeders, prompting The Livestock Conservancy (TLC) to declare it as a heritage breed – livestock existing before industrial agriculture became mainstream practice – since they had remained an isolated population for so long. San Clemente Island Goats are currently listed as Critical by the TLC, but dedicated breeders continue to work to keep them from extinction.

Coyote Map

Zoo Diet: formulated feed, hay, browse

Weight: 70 – 150 lbs

Critically Endangered

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