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Catalina Island Conservancy

The Hole Story

Most are in plain sight, others are hidden. Holes. Yes, holes! As insignificant as a hole on Catalina Island might seem, in fact, it likely tells a fascinating story. Catalina Island's habitats are full of holes which are very important to a large number of animals that make, maintain, and use them as shelter, nests or traps. Among Catalina's hole makers are wasps, bees, beetles, squirrels, burrowing owls, spiders, snakes, birds, and even the Catalina Island fox. Various creatures line their holes with mud or grass, and live part or all of their lives in and around them. Any hole in nature is likely to have some creature taking advantage of it. For example, the tiny holes left by emerging gall wasps are used by other cavity-nesting wasps. There are also holes that lead to tunnels made by the endemic Beechey or Catalina ground squirrel. Commonplace are holes made by acorn woodpeckers in which they store acorns for later retrieval.

Visit our Photo Gallery to explore a few of Catalina's cavity users and get the "(w)hole story."

Story and photos by Carlos de la Rosa,
Chief Conservation Officer, Catalina Island Conservancy