About the Refuge

About the Refuge

Remote and rugged, the e Farallon Islands protect an incredible bounty of avian and mammalian wildlife. These rocky islands, located nearly 30 miles west of San Francisco, California, can be described through numerous superlatives. They contain the largest seabird nesting colony in the contiguous United States, with 350,000 breeding birds of 13 species; support half the world’s population of Ashy storm-petrels; and host thousands of seals and sea lions, of five species, that breed and rest there

Created in 1909 by President Theodore Roosevelt, the Farallon National Wildlife Refuge was established to protect seabirds and marine mammals. The refuge, renamed in 2017 as Farallon Islands National Wildife Refuge, is comprised of three groups of small islands. Southeast Farallon Island is the largest island, at 70 acres, and was added to the refuge in 1969. The refuge is one of seven National Wildlife Refuges in the San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge Complex, and one of 562 refuges in the National Wildlife Refuge System.


QUEST on KQED Public Media.

Additional Resources:

Farallon National Wildlife Refuge website