La Feria News

San Clemente Island Goats

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Grace Heritage Ranch is known for the unique breeds of animals that make their home here. A useful dual-purpose goat that we have is the San Clemente Island Goat. The SCI goats, as they are known, are good for both milk and meat, but we also keep and breed them for their conservation. They are a critically endangered breed with only about 600 goats left worldwide. Our primary goal is preserving and promoting the breed.

Here’s a brief history of the San Clemente Island Goats. San Clemente is a 57 square mile island located off the coast of California. These goats have been thriving on the island since around 1875.

1934 – San Clemente Island was taken over by the U.S. Navy to use as a training base and a place for an airstrip.

1950s and 1960s – Deer and pigs were imported for hunting.

1970s – With the addition of growing numbers of deer and pigs, the island was becoming overpopulated, and it began to turn desolate.

1973 – A goat removal program was put in place and thousands of SCI Goats were removed by contractors who sold them at the stockyards.

1976 – Hunters were allowed on the Island and took the population down to about 4,500.

1979 – Hunters in helicopters were allowed to shoot the goats. Soon thereafter, an organization called the Fund for Animals stepped in and was able to stop the extermination and bring the goats off the island alive and humanely. Humane trappers were sent in and thousands goats were removed and taken to the mainland. Many, however, were neutered before being adopted out.

1980 – A Navy commander said it was too dangerous for civilians to be on the island with the Navy’s unexploded ordinances.
1982 – Extermination began again.

1991 – The last SCI goat on the island was killed.

Currently, several states in the U.S. and a handful of breeders in Canada are home to the last remaining San Clemente Island Goats. Come by Grace Heritage Ranch and visit with these very special goats!

To learn even more about homesteading, join us at Grace Heritage Ranch for our Saturday morning tours. We are located just 30 minutes northeast of Harlingen, TX near Santa Monica. Please visit us at www.GraceHeritageRanch.com or www.Facebook.com/VisitGHR. For a recorded message, please call 1-855-447-8687. We offer both public and private tours.

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