(4.5 meters to 6.1 meters). METHODS Only five people have managed to swim from the storied Farallon Islands to mainland California. They are abundant with life! These islands (Southeast Farallon and Maintop Island) off the coast of San Francisco are the winter water playground of adult great white sharks measuring 15 to 20 feet long. The sharks come to the Farrallones to dine on the local population of Northern Elephant Seals. 1983, the population has declined steadily (Sydeman and Allen 1999, PRBO unpublished data). Great white sharks are one of the many species found at the Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, 30 miles west of San Francisco. The Refuge is comprised of four groups of small islands: Southeast Farallon, North Farallons, Middle Farallon, and Noonday Rock. Each fall, between 15 and 50 sharks arrive at the islands. The islands support the largest seabird breeding colony south of Alaska. This report contains a summary of results from the winter 2005-2006 season of an ongoing study of the population size and reproductive success of the northern elephant seals on Southeast Farallon Island (SEFI) and West End Island, (WEI) California. When California was ceded to the US in 1848 and the Gold Rush brought a population â¦ âFarallonâ is the Spanish word for âa rocky promontory rising from the ocean.â Today, the Farallones are commonly referred to as the Galapagos of California. The Farallon Islands are an important reserve protecting a huge seabird colony. The capture-mark-recapture (CMR) data for this study were collected from 1985-2004, with capture Congress designated all these islands except Southeast Farallon Island as the Farallon Wilderness Area in 1974. Harbor Seals at the Farallon Islands by Glen Tepke Point Blue research facility on the Farallon Islands / Photo by Annie Schmidt. South Farallon Islands is the largest island at 70 acres and was added to the refuge in 1969. Common Murres on Southeast Farallon Island (SEFI), California (37°42âN, 123°00âW) have been under study since 1972 (Boekelheide et al. By Elaine K Howley Shortly after finishing his 2014 swim from the Farallon Islands to Muir Beach in Marin County, California, north of San Francisco, Craig Lenning, now 38, of Denver, Colorado, gave an interview to a local news station. Bird populations were slow to recover in the mid-20th century. The islandsâ position in the highly productive California Current and Eastern Pacific upwelling region, as well as the absence of other large islands that would provide suitable nesting grounds, result in a seabird population â¦ 2008). By 1959 the Common Murre population was still only 6,000 breeding birds. 1990). 1998a).Due to major population declines, threats from colony predation, and a high risk of atâsea mortality (e.g., from oil spills), the species has been listed as a California Species of Special Concern (Carter et al. 1990, Ainley 1995, Sydeman et al. They are home to 350,000 seabirds and roughly 30,000 marine mammals. Farallón de Pájaros is the northernmost island of the Marianas chain. The ashy stormâpetrel has been the subject of much study on the Farallon Islands National Wildlife Refuge (Ainley et al. The population was estimated to contain ~180,000 birds in 2005 (PRBO unpublished data).