Farallones Marine Sanctuary Association protecting our ocean wilderness through public stewardship
May 2007 Protecting Our Ocean Wilderness Through Public Stewardship    www.farallones.org Subscribe


Of Mice and Birds

Endangered Species Day!

What's in the Water?

Wildlife Spotlight: Chinook Salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha)

FMSA Events


OceanFest raffle tickets are on sale now!  Fabulous prizes include a kayaking trip to Baja, surf and sailing lessons and weekend get-aways.  All proceeds benefit FMSA.  Available at the Visitor Center or by calling 415-561-6625 x 307


Sanctuary Explorers Camp enrollment now open! Explore the hidden treasures of our coast, become a junior marine scientist, and help protect our local marine sanctuaries – all in one exciting week.

Camp Sessions:
Session A (ages 8-11): July 23 - 27
Session B (ages 10-13): August 13-17

For more information call Sara Heintzelman at 415-561-6625 x304


May 16  Spring in the Sanctuaries' Wetlands. Free Lecture, 7pm, Bay Model, Sausalito, CA. Joe Mueller, Marine Biologist.  Call (415) 561-6625x311 or contact: ddevlin@farallones.org.


May 18 Endangered Species Day!  Check out events across the bay area!


May 26  Field Excursion: Kayaking Tomales Bay.  Call (415) 561-6625x311 or contact: ddevlin@farallones.org.


May 26  Saturday is Creature Feature at 11.00am at the visitor center.  This month we will be looking at life in the kelp forest with sea otters, sea urchins and
decorator crabs!


May 31 Radio Show, Ocean Currents, on KWMR.  Tune into www.kwmr.org, 90.5 in Point Reyes from 5:30-6:30


June 13  Free Lecture -Farallon Islands: Human Historical Perspective.  SF Maritime Visitor Center.  Call (415) 561-6625x311 or contact: ddevlin@farallones.org.


June 16 Join us for our whale watching Trip!


Donate to FMSA today!



Of Mice and Birds

mouseFall on the Farallon Islands is well known for bird migration and feeding white sharks.  For people living on the island, it is also known as mouse season, when mice scurry under foot and every night is another opportunity for one to run across your head while you sleep.  Inconvenience and human sanitation, however, are not the reasons the US Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed eradicating mice from the South Farallon Islands. 

The Farallon Islands are part of the Farallon National Wildlife Refuge managed by USFWS to protect and enhance the wildlife that depends on Refuge lands to breed and rest.  It is the intent of the service to provide the best habitat conditions possible for seabirds and pinnipeds.  Refuge management has been attempting to control non-native plants since the 1980’s with some successes and some failures.  House mice are the last remaining non-native mammal (other than humans); cats and rabbits were removed in the 1970’s.  The mice were introduced early in the sequence of human inhabitation.

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Celebrate Endangered Species Day!

Steller Sea lionsOn May 1st, 2007, the United States Senate unanimously passed a resolution declaring May 18th “Endangered Species Day”.  Zoos, aquariums, parks, wildlife refuges, schools, museums, libraries, conservation organizations, and community groups across the country are planning events to protect our nation’s wildlife, fish, and plants on the brink of extinction.

“Endangered Species Day will provide opportunities for young people, students, and the general public to learn more about the more than 1,800 species in the U.S. and abroad, which are designated as ‘at risk’ for extinction,” said Senator Dianne Feinstein who led the effort to pass the resolution.

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What's in the Water?

blolinas lagoonDreaming of cervezas and a Mariachi band, a group of volunteers trekked out to Duxbury Reef on Cinco de Mayo for the Association’s annual participation in Snapshot Day. The event brings together local communities to test water conditions throughout the state, as well as inform participants about the health of our marine environment.

Wondering what’s in our local water?

Snapshot Day engages teams of citizen monitors to take a one day “snapshot” of water conditions in our coastal watershed. It is usually done during a few hours on a specific day to collect important information about the health of the rivers and streams that flow into the ocean. The event is the only one of its kind, and brings an awareness and understanding to citizens of how our actions and consumption affect the water in our environment.

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Wildlife Spotlight: Chinook Salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha)

Chinook Salmon underwaterWith salmon, it gets tricky with the names: Chinook, Coho, Sockeye, Humpy, Chum—or king, silver, red, pink and dog. And some call Chinook tyee salmon, or Columbia River salmon, or chub or hook bill or black-mouth salmon. No matter what you call them, their journey from small mountain streams to the open ocean and back again to spawn and die is an amazing tale of nature.

Chinook salmon are the largest of all salmon, averaging 30-40 pounds, with the heaviest weighing over 120 pounds. They are typically around 33-36 inches in length, but can reach nearly 60 inches. The fish are blue-green on the back and top of the head with silvery sides and white bellies. On the upper half of their body, they have black spots.

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