Along with a comprehensive listing of the island's botanical species, A Flora of San Nicolas Island California presents a fascinating illustrated history of the sheep ranching era from the 1800s to the present and explains how that history has shaped the botanical landscape. San Nicolas Island is the most remote of the islands off the coast of southern California. It is an island of contrasts, where an active military base is surrounded by the ever-changing ocean and beaches teeming with marine mammals. A number of unique plants and animals are found here, including a diminutive island fox. The island receives little rainfall - just over 8 inches a year on average - so the landscape changes dramatically with the seasons.