California Channel Islands Micromammals: A Story of Invasion and Extinction.

Author(s): Courtney Hofman; Torben Rick; Jesus Maldonado

Year: 2019


This is an abstract from the "Human Interactions with Extinct Fauna" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

Humans have unintentionally and intentionally introduced rodents to islands around the world, sometimes causing local extirpation and extinction of endemic fauna. On the northern California Channel Islands, island deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus), may have arrived as stowaways on Native American canoes at least 10,000 years ago. Following this introduction, the native deer mouse, Peromyscus nesodytes, persisted for several thousand before going extinct. Questions remain about the relationship between humans and the extinct deer mouse, especially the cause of their extinction. Here, we investigate the evolutionary relationship between the extinct and extant island deer mice species, the impact of the introduction of a non-native rodent on P. nesodytes and explore the role humans may have played in the extinction of an island endemic. Archaeological, paleontological and genetic data highlight the importance of understanding the impact of ancient invasions on the extinction of island species following the arrival of humans. Since P. maniculatus is considered an island endemic today, we also explore the often blurry relationship between past human-environmental interactions and the structure and function of modern day ecosystems.

Cite this Record

California Channel Islands Micromammals: A Story of Invasion and Extinction.. Courtney Hofman, Torben Rick, Jesus Maldonado. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 450813)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -124.189; min lat: 31.803 ; max long: -105.469; max lat: 43.58 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 24715