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Hungry goats clear the way for native species on Palos Verdes Peninsula

March 6, 2011 |  3:45 pm

Mowing right through

The sound of hundreds of goat hooves echoed through a small valley overlooking the ocean Saturday in the Palos Verdes Nature Preserve, surprising passersby who watched as the animals munched their way through yard after yard of invasive weeds.

The 230 goats are the first step in a project to restore natural flora and fauna to a 12-acre portion of the 1,400-acre preserve that was burned in a fire in 2009.

The goats, which range in size from 75 to 150 pounds, are positioned to gobble up all the invasive weeds so native plants and insects can move back in and survive, said Danielle LeFer, conservation director for the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy.

Read more: "Goats put their graze anatomy to good work."

-- Nicole Santa Cruz

Photo: Goats graze in an area of the Palos Verdes Nature Preserve recovering from a 2009 fire. They are clearing out invasive weeds to allow for the return of native plant and insect species. Credit: Gary Friedman, Los Angeles Times