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Eradication of feral goats and sheep from island ecosystems

  • Author(s): Van Vuren, Dirk
  • et al.
Abstract

Feral goats (Capra hircus) and feral sheep (Ovis aries) occur on numerous islands throughout the world and cause severe damage to island resources. Damage includes large-scale alteration of plant communities, negative impacts on insular endemic species of plants and animals, and damage to soils and cultural resources. Complete eradication is the best solution to the problem. Proposed control techniques include poisons, predators, diseases, sterilization, trapping, and shooting from the air, but experience shows that shooting from the ground, combined with the use of dogs, Judas goats, and perhaps fencing, is the best approach in most cases. Successful control programs have recently been completed or are nearly completed on the islands of Hawaii, San Clemente, and Santa Cruz.

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