Junco insularis by Kathy Kleinsteiber(8 in. x 8 in. | Acrylic on Gessobord | ID#3895)
Family: PASSERELLIDAE | Conservation Status: Endangered | Population Trend: increasing
The Guadalupe Junco lives only on the island of Guadalupe, 280 km off the west coast of Baja California. They were once plentiful on the island, thriving on a diet based on the seeds of the native, and once prolific, cypress trees. When fisherman came to live on the island in the 1850s, they brought goats with them for food. The goats became feral and reproduced with abandon, devastating the plant life on the island, including the cypress trees. Cats were also introduced, also becoming feral, and became a serious threat to birdlife on the island. The Guadalupe Junco was rapidly heading toward extinction. In the early 21st century, the island was designated a biosphere reserve and the goats and cats have been eradicated from the island. The cypress trees are now regaining ground and the future of the Guadalupe Junco is looking better than it once did.
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