Los Farallones

Dispatches from Point Blue’s field station on the Farallon National Wildlife Refuge

Archive: Feb 2010

Farallones in Bloom

February 28, 2010
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The wildflowers are in full bloom on the Farallones and due to abundant rainfall this year they are particularly prolific. While the native maritime goldfields (Lasthenia maritime) and marsh and sticky sand spurry (Spergularia spp) continuously sported a few flowers throughout this wet winter, in the past couple of weeks the island has truly burst […]

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It’s a Superweaner!

February 13, 2010
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Most female elephant seals nurse their own pups exclusively until weaning, and are fiercely protective of their pups – with good reason, as the main cause of pup mortality on Sand Flat is being bitten in the head by other cows. However, some cows that lose their pups will adopt orphans and raise them as […]

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The Farallon Arboreal Salamander

February 10, 2010
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The only native terrestrial vertebrate inhabiting the South Farallon Islands year-round is the arboreal salamander, Aneides lugubris. The Farallones population is considered a sub-species, A. lugubris farallonensis, but is closely related to arboreal salamanders at Point Reyes peninsula. The Farallones were connected to Point Reyes 10,000 years ago when sea levels were much lower. Aneides […]

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A Superlative Creature

February 4, 2010
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Noted elephant seal biologist Burney Le Boeuf once stated, “if you like superlatives, you will love this animal.” Consider this list from Le Boeuf and Laws’ seminal 1994 book on elephant seals: Elephant seals are the largest of the 34 extant species of pinnipeds in the world, and one of the most sexually dimorphic marine […]

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Molly is Back!

February 1, 2010
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Molly, the brant who hangs out with the western gulls on SEFI from time to time, is back after a several-month absence. Welcome back, Molly!

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