Méndez-Sánchez, F.

The Baja California Pacifc Islands, Mexico, are globally important breeding sites for 22 seabird species and subspecies. In the past, several populations were extirpated or reduced due to invasive mammals, human disturbance, and contaminants. Over the past two decades, we have removed invasive predators and, for the last decade, we have been implementing a Seabird Restoration Programme on eight groups of islands: Coronado, Todos Santos, San Martín, San Jerónimo, San Benito, Natividad, San Roque, and Asunción.

As the ?rst step towards the ecological restoration of its islands, Mexico has completed 60 eradications of invasive mammals thanks to a strong partnership between Grupo de Ecología y Conservación de Islas, A.C. (GECI), the federal government, local ?shing communities, academia, and private donors. The removal of invasive mammals has led to the dramatic recovery of the islands’ ecosystems. On Guadalupe Island, after completing the goat eradication in 2007, the native vegetation started to recover.

Socorro Island is part of the Revillagigedo National Park, Mexico. At 132 km2, it is the Mexican island with the highest level of endemism. It provides habitat for 117 vascular plant species, 26% of which are endemic. There is also an endemic blue lizard (Urosaurus auriculatus) and eight endemic terrestrial birds. Socorro’s ecosystem had been heavily degraded by invasive mammals for the past 140 years. Feral sheep (Ovis aries) destroyed one third of the island’s habitat and feral cats (Felis catus) severely impacted the island’s avifauna and the Socorro blue lizard.