This volume discusses both the human and the natural history of the islands of California, including all eight Channel Islands, Ano Nuevo, the Farallons, and the islands of San Francisco Bay. It can also be used as a field guide for visitors, and details on reaching the islands are contained in the first chapter. The authors explore the formation of the islands; discuss the history of human habitation, beginning with the Native Americans who first visited the islands 12,000 years ago; and provide an introduction to the marine and terrestrial biotas of the islands. The authors also discuss past damage and ongoing threats to island ecosystems, including devastation caused by the introduction of non-native animals and plants. Large herbivorous animals in particular have caused considerable damage, since island plants evolved in the absence of herbivores and therefore have no defeses against them.