The natural resource trustees and partners commemorating the completion of a seabird and shorebird restoration project on a windy February 15, 2012, on San Nicolas Island. Shown (left to right) are: Dave Garcelon, Institute for Wildlife Studies; Kimberly D'Amico, The Humane Society of the United States; Jennifer Boyce, Montrose Settlements Restoration Program Trustee Council; Chad Hanson, Island Conservation; Grace Smith, U.S. Navy; Jane Hendron, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Dan Shide, U.S. Navy; and, Martin Ruane, U.S. Navy. Photo credit: Jim Bartel, FWS.
On February 15, 2012 the State and federal natural resource trustees and cooperating partners commemorated the successful completion of a restoration project to benefit nesting seabirds and shorebirds on San Nicolas Island in the Channel Island Archipelago, offshore southern California. The project was undertaken as part of the effort to restore natural resources injured by DDT and PCB compounds released from the Montrose/Palos Verdes Superfund site.
San Nicolas Island, 61 miles west of Los Angeles, is owned and operated by the U. S. Navy. The island is 23 square miles in area and considered the most remote of the eight Channel Islands. It is home to protected species such as San Nicolas Island fox, island night lizard, seals, sea lions, western snowy plover and migratory birds. Feral cats, first brought to the island in the 1950s, have preyed on the island’s nesting seabirds and shorebirds and competed with other endemic species on the island for decades. Removal of the non-native cats is intended to benefit the ground-nesting seabirds and shorebirds and other prey targets of the cats. The project humanely relocated 59 adult cats and 10 kittens from the island.
The event on San Nicolas Island recognized the completion of this restoration project and the certification of the island now as 100% cat-free, after 2 years of extensive monitoring. The project, involving the State and federal natural resource trustees, the U.S. Navy and cooperating partners -- including Island Conservation, Institute for Wildlife Studies and The Humane Society of the United States -- has won a 2012 "Natural Resources Conservation Communication, Conservation Partnerships Award" from the National Military Fish and Wildlife Association. The award will be presented at the NMFWA session at the upcoming annual North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference in Atlanta on March 12 – 16, 2012.