In 1944, 29 reindeer were
imported onto St. Matthew Island in the Bering Sea. Specialists had
calculated (quite correctly) that the island could support between 1600
and 2300 reindeer, and by 1957 the population had grown to 1350. But by
1963, with no natural controls or predators, the population had soared to
6000, and in the next three years, this population exhausted the island's
food resources and crashed, leaving only 42 specimens clinging
precariously to life.