Feral Goat

Bruce Coblentz

Latin name: Capra hircus

In the absence of population control, feral goats rapidly assume ecological dominance in island ecosystems. There, they are implicated in habitat destruction, alteration of species composition (including extinctions), and altered ecosystem processes and functions. We have demonstrated that removal of goats can lead to the rapid recovery of suppressed vegetation, and have been instrumental in goat eradications from several islands around the world including San Clemente Island, California, Aldabra Atoll in the Seychelles, and Isla Santiago and Isla Isabela in the Galapagos.

Did you know? Goats removed forage to the height they could reach and greatly reduced shade for tortoises. This is bad news for tortoises, as being deprived of shade on Aldabra will likely kill them quickly.

Publications: 

Coblentz, BE and DH Van Vuren. 1987. Effects of feral goats (Capra hircus) on Aldabra Atoll. Atoll Res. Bull. 306: 1-6.

Coblentz, BE, DH Van Vuren, and MB Main. 1990. Control of feral goats on Aldabra Atoll. Atoll Res. Bull. 337: 1-13.

Rainbolt, RE and BE Coblentz. 1999. Restoration of insular ecosystems: control of feral goats on Aldabra Atoll, Republic of Seychelles. Biol. Invasions 1: 363-375