Involvement of a fishing community in the eradication of the introduced cactus mouse (Peromyscus eremicus cedrosensis) from san benito oeste island, Mexico.
San Benito Archipelago is internationally important for the conservation of 13 species of seabirds. San Benito Oeste, the largest and only inhabited island, was declared mammal-free in 2000 after a series of eradications conducted in collaboration between the fishing cooperative Pescadores Nacionales de Abulón, the Mexican conservation organization, Grupo de Ecología y Conservación de Islas, A.C., and the Mexican Government. The archipelago remained mammal-free until 2006, when an unusual invader, the Cedros island cactus mouse (Peromyscus eremicus cedrosensis), was accidentally introduced to San Benito Oeste island. The same collaboration scheme involving locals, conservationists, and authorities was once again put in motion, delivering tangible results. Research informed the mouse eradication strategy, the local community supported the operation, and the mouse eradication was successfully implemented in December 2013. To date (8 years later), no mammals have been recorded in the archipelago, which suggests community-led island biosecurity is working. In addition, this collaborative restoration work contributed to the creation of the Baja California Pacific Islands Biosphere Reserve, protecting 21 islands, including the San Benito Archipelago, and 97 islets in the Mexican Pacific.