Western technology and ideas weren’t the only things Commodore Matthew Perry brought when he and his “black ships” ended Japan’s policy of self-imposed seclusion in 1853. He also brought goats — at least that’s one explanation for their conspicuous presence on the Ogasawara island chain, roughly 900 km south of Tokyo.

According to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, many of the more than 1,000 goats have overpopulated four uninhabited Ogasawara islets and are damaging their ecosystems by devouring vegetation and exposing the red soil, which then flows into the ocean, killing the surrounding coral.

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