We continue visiting Southern California’s Channel Islands this week. Privately owned Santa Catalina Island, once owned by William Wrigley, of chewing gum and Chicago Cubs fame, is the only truly populated island among Southern California’s eight Channel Islands.
Populated by humans, that is. Many of the rest are inhabited by, or surrounded by, such rare, endangered, and endemic species of animals and plants—endemic meaning, those found only here. So rare is Channel Islands biology that scientists describe the Channel Islands, collectively, as North America’s Galápagos, a reference to those islands in time, in Ecuador, where Charles Darwin demonstrated the evolutionary process of natural selection.