First of 3 talks in our Winter 2018 Conservation Series – A Hotspot for Whales and Other Marine Life Just Off our Coast
Roger Harris of the Oceanic Society will tell us about these conservation success stories.
One of the world’s great wildlife areas lies immediately off of our Marin County coast. Fully a quarter of the seabirds born in California hatch from the vast rookeries of the Farallon Islands, including the iconic Tufted Puffin and half the world’s population of the Ashy Storm-Petrel.
More species of marine mammals can be seen on a day boat trip into the Gulf than practically any place else. Grey Whales migrate through, while one of the world’s largest concentrations of the largest of all mammals, the endangered Blue Whale, feeds in these rich waters. The largest sea turtle, the critically endangered Leatherback, frequents the Gulf on occasion as do Killer Whales and Great White Sharks.
The social history is equally fascinating. Over 200 years passed from when the first Europeans sailed past the Farallones to when they finally sailed into the great port of San Francisco. Before chicken farms were in Petaluma, seabird eggs were harvested from the islands. More recently, the islands have seen spectacular recoveries of Common Murres, Northern Fur Seals, and Northern Elephant Seals.