Happy Shrew Year!
We kicked off 2021 with some exciting news. For the first time since 2004, researchers have observed a live Catalina Island Shrew.

“We have been looking for the Catalina Island Shrew for years,” said Conservancy Wildlife Biologist Emily Hamblen. Three additional major research efforts have attempted to document the mammal since 2016 to no avail, despite more than 200,000 photos reviewed and 1,500 camera trap nights.
“I thought, and really hoped, that they still existed somewhere on the Island. Animals are incredibly resilient, and it is amazing to see that they are still here,” she added.

Now that the shrew has been spotted once again, the Conservancy plans to continue efforts to encourage their survival.

“Our next step is to figure out the island-wide distribution and if they seem to prefer specific habitats, based on the locations where they have been observed,” said Hamblen. “Then, we can work to promote the health of those types of habitats and reduce risks to their survival.”
Happy Trails
It takes a lot of work to maintain the more than 165 miles of roads and trails that keep Catalina Island’s wildlands accessible. Several factors affect the stability and wear of trails, including weather and other natural processes. Rock slides, mud slides, and people walking or animals running across wet trails all accelerate trail erosion. Trails can be negatively affected by how much use they receive during subpar conditions. Conservancy Trails Program Coordinator Kevin Ryan speaks about maintaining the extensive Catalina Island trail system in the next issue of Conservancy Times. Become a Conservancy member to ensure you receive the magazine - a special member benefit!

Curl Up With A Good Book
Have you joined the Conservancy’s new Members Only! Book Club? This club offers the opportunity for those that want to dig into foundational, popular science literature and discuss these readings through a lens of relevancy to Catalina Island. Previously, the group has discussed books including “The Hidden Life of Trees,” “The Sixth Extinction” and more. February we’ll be reading the Complete Reader’s Edition of “Island of the Blue Dolphins,” which includes essays that dive into background on archaeological and Native American history. Over 100 members have enjoyed the book club so far.
Bald Eagles on Catalina
The 2020 bald eagle season saw seven active bald eagle pairs and four healthy chicks successfully fledge the nest. The Conservancy has a longstanding partnership with the Institute for Wildlife Studies (IWS), which reintroduced bald eagles to the skies above Catalina after a long recovery from exposure to DDT. Explore.org provides live video of several nests on Catalina Island, including nests on the West End. Last year, the West End eagles laid their first clutch of eggs in February, so keep an eye out for future hatchlings! Learn more about the history of bald eagles on Catalina.