The San Clemente Island Goats are a domestic goat derived from the feral goats isolated on the San Clemente Island, one of the Channel Islands of California. While there are several theories of the exact origin of these goats it is believed they had been running free on the island for at least a decade.
In the mid 1980s, the U.S. Navy, who owned the island, began to exterminate the goats. The goats were destroying the indigenous endangered plants, and negatively affecting the ecology of San Clemente Island. Not surprising—there were at least 15,000 goats on 57 square miles. Thousands of goats were exterminated.
The Fund for Animals stepped in to litigate for the live removal of the remaining goats from the island. Over 6,000 goats were trapped and resettled on the mainland. Many goats were adopted out as pets, and many of these were neutered first.
Thanks to a few foresighted rescuers, breeders, and the intervention of the American Livestock Breeds Conservatory, a handful of breeding stock was saved, and efforts to save this unique breed began.
Limited technology in the 1980's affected the availability of information and the means to spark nationwide public interest in San Clemente Island goats as a heritage breed. San Clemente Island goats exist in only a few states and Canadian provinces. Their wide geographical distribution has been a biological safeguard, but hasn't helped their popularity. Now they can be brought to the public eye. And when they are, they will undoubtedly be loved. Presently, there are approximately 1700 San Clemente Island goats left in Canada and the US.
San Clemente Island goats are relatively small, though slightly larger than dwarf breeds. They are uncommonly fine-boned and deer-like, and most have very gentle temperaments and excellent mothering abilities. San Clemente Island goats are typically red or tan with characteristic black markings. The island population once exhibited a wide range of colors and color markings and these can occasionally be seen today. Both sexes are horned and although their large horns resemble those of Spanish goats, San Clemente Island goats are not of Spanish origin.
The Livestock Conservancy, in collaboration with the University of Cordoba in Spain, conducted a DNA study of the breed in 2007 and found that the San Clemente Island goat is a genetically distinct breed and unrelated to the numerous other breeds in the study. The findings raise many questions about the origin of the San Clemente Island goat and further study is needed to gain a better understanding of this unique breed.
They are currently listed as critical on the Livestock Conservatories conservation list.
the San Clemente island goats are a multi purpose breed. They are thin boned and deer like giving them a high meat ratio. Their milk contains a high butterfat content and they have good production. Their coat is currently being studied to see if it can be combed for cashmere. they are also great for clearing briars and brush under trees.
San Clemente Island Goats are considered a miniature size breed and are not aggressive. They can be very friendly and gentle if socialized. They are easy keepers and are highly parasite resistant. Does are great mothers and have easy births with little to no complications and have singles, twins, and triples.
San Clemente Island Goats are a multi-purpose breed which can be utilized for dairy, meat, brush clearing, and potentially fiber. They produce creamy high butterfat milk and a good dress percentage
We were blessed to be able to acquire a herd of 19 from Richard Blaney, currently on the board of directors of the Livestock Conservancy. This was a great honor and we look forward to expanding our herd so we can provide breeding stock for other farmers.