Environmental authorities in Mexico have begun removing 800 to 900 wild goats from Espiritu Santo island off Baja California.

Mexico's commission for protected nature areas says the goats will be taken by boat to the Baja peninsula, where the first 100 will be given to a local university for research. The others will be given to goat herders on the peninsula.

The goats were introduced to the island to provide food for humans. But the commission says they threaten native species like the organ pipe cactus and the elephant cactus.

Espiritu Santo is in the Gulf of California, also known as the Sea of Cortes.

About 70 to 80 goats will be removed weekly over three months. Many are already confined to pens on the island.