• Scenic View from Inspiration Point, Anacapa Island ©timhaufphotography.com

    Channel Islands

    National Park California

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  • Santa Barbara Island Closed Due to Storm Damage

    Santa Barbara Island is currently closed to public access due to damage from the high surf associated with Hurricane Marie. More »

  • San Miguel Island Closure

    In the interest of public safety, the U.S. Navy is closing San Miguel Island until further notice due to recent concerns of possible unexploded ordnance. More »

Animals

Dan Richards
 

A variety of organisms can be found on and around the Channel Islands, from top predators like bald eagles and sharks, to intertidal residents such as seastars and barnaces, to the tiniest parasites living on other animals and plants. For this page we have organized the information into Birds, Marine Animals, and Terrestrial Animals, although many animals utilize resources from both the ocean and the land.

Because of their isolation and remote nature, the Channel Islands support fewer native animal species than similar habitats on the mainland. Species that reached the islands were aerial, such as birds and bats, or rafted across the water on debris and other material. Over time some vertebrate species evolved into distinct subspecies on the islands. For example, the deer mouse and island fox are recognized as distinct subspecies on each of the islands they occur. A total of 23 endemic terrestrial animals have been identified in the park, including 11 land birds, that are Channel Island subspecies or races.

Did You Know?

Santa Barbara Island live-forever                 timhaufphotography.com

The Channel Islands are often called the "North American Galapagos" because they are home to over 150 endemic or unique species.