We are currently growing and maintaining nearly 13,000 native and endemic island plants as part of our current restoration project. These plants were grown from seed and cuttings collected exclusively from the island under the watchful eyes of our Nursery Manager, Kelle Green and Nursery Assistant, Sarah Spellenberg. It has taken the dedication of thousands of staff and volunteer hours to successfully propagate, grow and maintain such a large number of plants at an isolated island nursery 60 miles off shore.
These plants will be used to revegetate an area of ground that was disturbed during the replacement of aging infrastructure. It is these projects that are spearheaded by the island’s Natural Resource Manager that continue to further increase and expand previously degraded habitat island wide. Over the past 5 seasons, CIR has grown and installed over 22,000 native plants in no less than 20 sites across the island. Once this current project is completed and we finish the installation of the nearly 13,000 plants currently in the nursery that number will be a whopping 35,000!
These restoration projects have focused on a variety of goals ranging from increasing vital habitat and creating wildlife corridors for the endemic and recently delisted Island Night Lizard (Xantusia riversiana) to increasing the population diversity and re-establishment of rare island plant species back into locations where they have been extirpated due to damaging ranching practices well over one hundred years ago. This damage has also caused wide scale erosion issues on the island as well. This is why we have a common thread of erosion control throughout nearly all of our plantings.
A true mark of a successful restoration planting is not only the survival of the original plants installed, but also that they thrive to a point in which they can successfully reproduce and that those new plants survive on their own. Even in the relatively short time we have been working on San Nicolas Island we have documented many cases where we have natural recruitment from seed of our installed plantings and survival of these recruits over multiple years!
None of this work would be possible without the hard work, selflessness and generosity of our many donors, volunteers and supporters. We congratulate YOU for these many successes!