4. Why are the Farallon Islands so special?

  • The Farallon Islands (or Farallones) host a unique ecosystem. Surrounded by the productive ocean waters of the Gulf of the Farallones, the islands host the largest seabird nesting colony in the contiguous United States, with 350,000 breeding birds of 13 species. The rare ashy storm-petrel, a species found almost entirely on the California coast, has its largest colony here. Thousands of seals and sea lions of five species also utilize the islands for breeding and resting, and the endemic Farallon arboreal salamander and Farallon camel cricket occur nowhere else in the world. In addition, the Faralloneshost a unique plant community dominated by the maritime goldfield (also called Farallon weed), a species found only on seabird nesting islands in California and Oregon.
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