Los Farallones

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

Farallonathon Postscript

By | October 8, 2008

SEFI Aerial_East Side_JohnWarzybok

During this year’s dismal Farallonathon, which we knew could be the worst on record, we looked back into past journals to determine what the lowest total had ever been. We found that 1992 was the first year of the Farallonathon. From 1993-1995 they called it the Farallon Research Week, but continued with the same point system as 1992. Over the past 16 years the lowest total was 133 points in 1995. The point system has gone through some slight modifications over the years, and because of this, the totals are not fairly compared. In an effort to put all years on an equal playing field (and possibly bring this year out of last place) we recalculated previous totals with the current point system (began in 2004).

In the current point system, the following sightings receive points:
breeding birds (1 point), pinnipeds (1), cetaceans (1), bats (1), butterflies (1), dragonflies (1), salamanders (1), shark sighting (1), shark attack (5), fish (1), turtles (1), migrant birds (1), CBRC birds (5), and any new island record (10). For most of the above, each new species for the week sighted gets awarded a point. The exceptions are shark sightings, shark attacks, and CBRC birds in which each individual sighting is awarded points (i.e., 3 shark attacks in one day gets 15 points, 2 Red-throated Pipits receive 10 points). In the past, all shark sightings were worth 5 points, and they didn’t give fish any points.

Below we list the past totals as they were recorded at the time as well as the recalculated totals under the current point system. Unfortunately, this year was still, by far, the worst Farallonathon on record. Doh!

Year Journal Total Recalculated Total
1992 147 152
1993 149 149
1994 200 202
1995 133 133
1996 175 178
1997 188 164
1998 230 222
1999 196 180
2000 240 216
2001 244 240
2002 174 175
2003 195 183
2004 216 216
2005 146 146
2006 185 185
2007 139 139
2008 129 129

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *