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Guadalupe Island
Guadalupe is one of the most ecologically rich islands in Mexico

Guadalupe is a volcanic island in the Pacific Ocean, 150 miles off the west coast of Mexico's Baja California peninsula. This 100 square mile island is home to more than 34 endemic plants, 7 extant endemic bird species or subspecies, 8 breeding seabirds, and more than 29 endemic invertebrates.

Guadalupe has a rugged landscape and consists of two ancient overlapping shield volcanoes. It features a chain of high volcanic mountain ridges which rises to a height of 4,257 feet at its northern end. The southern part of the island is bare, but there are fertile valleys and trees in the northern part.

Island Conservation’s Role:

Goats and cats introduced in the late 1800’s devastated the island’s biodiversity. Feral cats caused the extinction of three endemic birds and ate all but a few seabirds. Goats grazed the island down to solid rock, leaving many endemic plants surviving only on inaccessible cliffs. The top of the island, once covered with a forest of endemic Guadalupe Island Pine and Cypress, was denuded. The regeneration of these forests is critical to the recovery of the island’s native and endemic terrestrial bird species, including the Critically Endangered Guadalupe Junco (Junco insularis).

In 2003, Conservación de Islas and Island Conservation began removing goats. Now free from goats, plants are thriving. In the absence of goats, the island’s vegetation continues to recover at an incredible rate. Conservación de Islas and Island Conservation are tracking the rapid growth of Guadalupe’s endemic cypress, pine, oak, and palm forests and monitoring the growth of almost 4,000 new pine seedlings that have germinated within areas protected from goats since 2003. Conservación de Islas and Island Conservation are also closely monitoring the growth of 15 critically rare plant species, including five previously believed to be absent from the island.

On April 25th, 2005, a decree was published in the DIARIO OFICIAL (Mexican Federal Register) declaring Guadalupe Island and a surrounding marine zone as the Guadalupe Biosphere Reserve. Since then, Conservación de Islas has been working with the Mexican National Protected Areas Commission (CONANP), the Mexican Navy, the island’s fishing cooperative, and collaborating scientists to establish a long-term management plan for this new protected area. 

Endemic Guadalupe Oak
Guadalupe Fur Seals

Featured Species
Take a closer look at this rare and stunning hummingbird found on only one island in the entire world that you are helping protect from extinction!

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