Los Farallones

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

Farallonathon is ON!!!

It’s Bird-A-Thon season at Point Blue Conservation Science – our biggest fundraiser. On the Farallones, we count all of the animals we find including birds, fish, marine mammals, insects, and any other wildlife. We even assign points for rare and interesting wildlife events such as shark attacks and birds never before seen on the Farallones. This highly anticipated annual event is fondly referred to as the Farallonathon!

Initiated in 1992 by Peter Pyle, the Farallonathon was created to recognize the truly unique elements of the Farallones, while at the same time participating in Point Blue’s Annual Bird-A-Thon. The Farallonathon consists of a one week bio-blitz when we identify as many species of wildlife as possible.

Money raised from this event goes directly to supporting Farallon research allowing us to purchase biological equipment, food and supplies for island personnel, and pay Point Blue staff to analyze and publish the data we collect. The information gathered from our research help us and others protect the wildlife that use these special islands and the marine environment that surrounds it. You can support our research by either pledging an amount of money per point or a flat amount.
What’s a typical ‘score’ for a Farallonathon? During the last 18 years, scores have ranged from a low of 133 points to a high of 240 (a good year for shark attacks!). The very first Farallonathon began auspiciously with a mega-rare Asian vagrant, the Northern Wheatear, but ended with only a modest 152 points due to very few shark attacks.
This unique fundraising event is truly fun, but it is also part of our daily research. As Farallon biologists, we are constantly studying the wildlife of these near-pristine islands and documenting their activities. Every observation is a piece of the data that we record on the island–our outdoor laboratory on the Pacific. The Farallonathon gives us a way to celebrate our work on the island and share these experiences with you.
To pledge your financial support for our research, you can pledge a flat amount or you can make your pledge based on the Farallonathon point system. If you pledge your support, you will receive a detailed summary of our experience at the end of the Farallonathon week. Your participation allows us to continue studying this unique and vital ecosystem on the California Coast.
Donation should be sent to:
Russ Bradley
Point Blue Conservation Science
3820 Cypress Drive #11
Petaluma, CA 94954
In the memo on the check write, “Farallonathon”
I hope you will join us!
Thank you,
Jim Tietz
Point Blue Farallon Biologist