San Clemente Island Goats: Main Characteristics, Use & Best 10 Farming Benefits

San Clemente Island Goats

About San Clemente Island Goats, San Clemente Island Goats are a type of goat that lives on the island of San Clemente Island. The San Clemente Island goats are the only large mammals native to the island. Their population has declined due to predation, disease, and environmental changes.

There are a few efforts to save this rare goat depending on what is needed for recovery, such as an increase in population size, decreasing loss of genetic diversity, or preserving natural habitat. This article will explore these projects and their goals to keep the San Clemente Island goats from extinction.

How to Identify San Clemente Island Goats?

San Clemente Island Goats are a grayish-brown color. Their hair is fine and soft, and their tail resembles that of domestic goats. They have a distinctive head shape with a wide nose and ears that are long and thin. San Clemente Island Goats grow to around 20 pounds, but they weigh close to 25 pounds in the summer when they are in good health.

San Clemente Island Goats also have white and black marks on the chest and tail. They have slightly curved horns but are not as large as a bighorn sheep’s horn. The color of Island Goats varies between their coat and horns depending on what time of year they are born.

Main Characteristics

  • San Clemente Island Goats are born with dark brown spots on the back, chest, and tail. As they grow, their fur grows darker, and these spots become more obvious.
  • San Clemente Island Goats have extra-long horns that curve backward and are not as curved as a bighorn sheep’s horn.
  • San Clemente Island Goats have a thick coat of fine hair that feels solid to the touch.
  • San Clemente Island Goats have long legs and necks that help them stand straight.
  • The lifespan of San Clemente Island Goats is approximately six years.


San Clemente Island Goats have roamed the hills of San Clemente since prehistoric times. They are the only native large mammals to one of the Channel Islands and have lived on the island for thousands of years.

Quick Fact

Breed name:Capra hircus clematis
Weight:25 pounds
Family:Goat family, Caprinae
Diet:Variety of native and non-native plants, including; wild oats, island bush muhly grass, California buckwheat, sweet clover, and Toyon berries.
Status:Endangered; breed number unknown; listed July 29th, 1966
Predators of San Clemente Island Goats:Coyotes and Golden Eagle


The Goats are not very useful to humans, but they are familiar icons of the Channel Islands. In the past, they were hunted for their meat and horns and used as hollowed-out drinking vessels, spoons, and ladles.

Best 10 Farming Benefits

1. High-protein, low-fat milk:

The San Clemente Island Goats milk is high in protein (20 to 25 percent) and has no fat. This milk is excellent for making cheese and yogurt.

2. Aromatic, flowery goats’ milk soap:

Goats’ milk soap is a great way to eliminate skin irritations such as poison ivy and insect bites. You can buy or make goat’s milk soap from the extra milk from your goat herd.

3. High-quality meat:

San Clemente Island Goats are a great source of lean and tasty meat.

4. Companionship and self-sufficiency:

Goats can survive in extremely harsh environments and provide companionship in return for food and shelter. They are easily maintained farm animal that is relatively easy to raise compared to most others.

5. Great work animals:

Goats are small enough to fit into small spaces but strong enough to do big jobs like moving timber or rocks. They also have amazing senses of smell, so they will detect any changes in their environment and alert the family.

6. Great for landscaping:

The San Clemente Island Goats’ rough appearance is very helpful for landscaping purposes. Their hard coat is resistant to rot and can prevent plant foliage from getting too wet from rain or fog.

7. Help with garden pests:

Goats are natural at clearing brush and weeds in the garden. They can help you keep vegetation under control and prevent it from taking over your yard.

8. Protein in their manure:

The protein in goat manure is good for the growth of plants, so it is useful as fertilizer for crops and gardens. The goat manure will also make the soil richer by providing a high concentration of nutrients that would otherwise be lacking.

9. Goat milk is great for baby formula:

Goat milk is used in the baby formula because it is easily digestible and does not cause an allergic reaction like cow’s milk. If you have San Clemente Island Goats goats around, you will never have to worry about having a steady source of clean feed for your infants.

10. Goats are fun:

San Clemente Island Goats are great at climbing and jumping, making them very entertaining. If you have a fence or wall that the goats cannot jump over, they will climb it! San Clemente Island Goats can maneuver almost any surface with their strong feet and grips, and their curiosity can make for a fun time for the whole family.


If you decide to keep San Clemente Island Goats, you will be able to enjoy the benefits of high-quality milk, meat, and companionship. These are great animals for beginners and families with children. They are also an important part of the ecosystem of San Clemente Island. I hope you enjoyed our article about this unique animal. As always, thank you for reading!