Press Release
Final Environmental Assessment Available for San Nicolas Seabird Restoration Project

April 8, 2009

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announced today the release of a Final Environmental Assessment (EA) for the San Nicolas Seabird Restoration Project, a component of the Montrose Settlements Restoration Program (MSRP).

Based on the comments received during the May-June 2008 comment period, and a Finding of No Significant Impact, the MSRP anticipates initiating the Seabird Restoration Project on is located off the coast of southern California and provides vital nesting habitat for numerous native seabirds and shorebirds, including western gulls, Brandt’s cormorants and the federally threatened western snowy plover. by preying on adult seabirds and their young, and on night lizards. The feral cats also prey on deer mice, a staple of the fox’s diet.

Following release of the draft EA on May 19, 2008, the Service solicited public comments and conducted an open house regarding the project on June 4, 2008, in Ventura, CA. A field study was also conducted in 2008 and 2009 in collaboration with The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), to assess the effectiveness of cage traps to capture feral cats, and feasibility of transporting trapped cats off the island.

The project will utilize live trapping as the primary removal method. Specially trained dogs may be used to track the scent of feral cats, but will have no direct contact with cats. Hunting with and without the specialized tracking dogs will be used strategically as a supplemental method of removing cats. In addition, a sophisticated trap monitoring system will minimize the time animals are held in traps.

Further information about MSRP, the San Nicolas Seabird Restoration Project, and copies of the Final EA are available on the Internet at

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