The California Channel Islands, USA, and Pacific Baja California Peninsula Islands, Mexico (hereafter referred to as the California islands), are known for their high levels of biodiversity and globally important colonies of seabirds. We document the history, impacts, and management of non-native mammals and summarize the current status of native, non-volant mammals on the California islands. Of the 26 species of native mammals on the California islands, including 6 species and 41 subspecies that are endemic, ≥10 populations have suffered extirpation or global extinction. All recent extirpations and extinctions resulted directly from non-native mammalian predators or indirectly via habitat degradation by non-native herbivores. In light of the devastating effects non-native mammals have had on the native insular biotas of the California islands, a variety of organizations have collaborated to eradicate 44 populations of non-native mammals from 19 California islands. Documentation of impacts of non-native mammals and timely implementation of successful eradication efforts are essential to the conservation of these and other insular ecosystems.
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Vol. 52 • No. 4