left animals

after reading the new chuck palahniuk book ‘lullaby’, a part in it mentions the practice of 17th/18th century sailors/explorers leaving pigs and goats behind on islands they would encounter on the way to somewhere, so that they would breed and provide food for them on the return journey. they would then (the pigs and goats) tend to wipe out most of the indiginous species of those islands, leaving just them there on the explorers return.

now, im assuming this is true due to the naivety and/or stupidity of early explorers, but does anybody know which islands this happened on and whether anybodies researched what species would have been wiped out? do islands still exist with just a pig or goat population due to these fools?
Pauly T

I don’t think there are any islands that are entirely populated by pigs or goats, but there are plenty of places where introduced food species have helped to cause damage to, or extinction of, local species along trade routes. Introduced pigs (and ships’ rats) seem to have contributed to the extinction of the dodo on Mauritius and its relatives on Reunion Island, for example.

Feral pigs are a problem in Hawaii.

Feral goats are a problem on the Galapagos Islands.

Do a Google search, under things like “feral goats island”.

“Feral Goat Island” sounds like a great name for a theme park.

As I understand it, trees are most directly affected by those exotic (i.e. not native) animals. Goats and rabbits eat up the sprouts, causing entire populations of trees to go die out. You can even see the effect in Scotland - the islands in lakes have huge trees because sheep couldn’t get to it, but the surrounding landscape is all grassland.

Whereas “Feral Pigs” would make a great band name.