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Catalina Island Conservancy




march photo gallery

Photos by Carlos de la Rosa Chief Conservation and Education Officer
Catalina Island Conservancy

VIEW PHOTO GALLERY

May 2008

Aliens Alive!  Part One

The aliens are here - some of them to stay. Not aliens from outer space, but alien plants. They are disguised as native growth and appear harmless. You might even say that some are beautiful. Their eye-catching blooms are colorful, aromatic and attractive to insects and other pollinators.  In fact, some of them are so attractive to pollinators, that they distract them from the Island's native and endemic blossoms. This is a photo gallery of a few of the alien plants that pepper our Island landscape. To recognize them takes a bit of time, a good pair of eyes, and a little help - like this photo guide.

The alien plants you are about to meet are well adapted - able to out-compete native species - mainly because natural controls (disease, predators and competition) that keep them in check in their homelands are missing here on Catalina.  So, they establish themselves, expand their populations, and eventually out-compete the native species.  Or, in some cases, they live happily among them, not causing much harm.

Come with us and explore these alien invaders that have arrived on Catalina, sometimes with our unwitting help, and learn what the Conservancy is doing about them.

Text and Photo Gallery by Carlos de la Rosa

The aliens are here