Isla Guadalupe

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Laysan Albatross nesting, Isla Guadalupe, 2016
Photo by J. A. Soriano
Extinct Guadalupe Caracara, Isla Guadalupe


ISLA GUADALUPE has been called one of the most interesting islands in the world. Located 180 miles west of the Baja California peninsula, this volcanic island, not attached to the continental shelf, rises from great ocean depths to 4,257 feet. It is 94 square miles in size ~ almost as large as Santa Cruz Island. Today temporary fishing camps are located on the island: Campo Norte ("North Camp", four buildings); Campo Lima (Campo Corrals); (one building); and Arroyitos (four buildings). An abandoned fishing community, Campo Este ("East Camp"), is located near a cove on the eastern shore. At the southern tip, on Melpómene Cove, there is a weather station staffed by a detachment from the Mexican Ministry of the Navy. The site is called Campamento Sur ("South Encampment"). Near the center of the island is a small dirt airstrip called Campo Pista.

Isla Guadalupe was the refuge of the last surviving elephant seals at the turn of the 19th century. It is home to the endemic Guadalupe Fur Seal (Arctocephalus townsendi), in addition to a number of endemic birds:

  • Townsend's storm petrel (Oceanodroma socorroensis) – only known breeding site
  • Ainley's storm petrel (Oceanodroma cheimomnestes) – only known breeding site
  • Guadalupe rock wren (Salpinctes obsoletus guadalupensis) – endemic
  • Guadalupe house finch (Carpodacus mexicanus amplus) – endemic
  • Guadalupe pipefish (Syngnathus insulae) – endemic
  • Guadalupe junco (Junco hyemalis insularis) – endemic
  • Guadalupe caracara (Caracara lutosa) – endemic, extinct


THE LAST OF THE GUADALUPE CARACARA



Island Collections~
  • 1875
Edward Palmer






Island Collections~
ISLAND COLLECTOR INSTITUTION DATE NUMBER SPECIMEN
Isla Guadalupe Edward Palmer SDNHM [1875] SDNHM-2632 Caracara lutosus Birds
Isla Guadalupe Edward Palmer SDNHM [1875] SDNHM-2633 Caracara lutosus Birds
Isla Guadalupe Edward Palmer SDNHM [1875] SDNHM-2634 Caracara lutosus Birds
ISLAND COLLECTOR INSTITUTION DATE NUMBER SPECIMEN
Isla Guadalupe Edward Palmer SDNHM [1875] SDNHM-2632 Caracara lutosus Birds
Isla Guadalupe Edward Palmer SDNHM [1875] SDNHM-2633 Caracara lutosus Birds
Isla Guadalupe W. A. Myers UF March 4, 1880 UF-1136 Caracara lutosus Eggs/Nests
Isla Guadalupe H. A. Ward UF March 4, 1880 UF-52321 Caracara lutosus Eggs/Nests
Isla Guadalupe A. W. Anthony CM September 20, 1896 1927 CM-P20696 Caracara plancus lutosus Birds
Isla Guadalupe A. W. Anthony CM September 20, 1896 1927 CM-P20696 Caracara plancus lutosus Birds