Santa Barbara Island Closed Due to Storm Damage
Santa Barbara Island is closed to public access due to damage from the recent storms to the pier landing ladder. The closure will be in place until a new ladder can be fabricated and installed. The closure is expected to last over a month. More »
Public Closures on Santa Barbara Island
Certain Santa Barbara Island trails are closed to all public entry to proctect breeding populations of California brown pelicans. More »
The number of different animal species found on the Channel Islands, defined as species diversity, is small compared to what would likely be found on a mainland area of similar size. The level of species diversity on islands reflects the challenges to a species of first arriving and then of adapting to unique island conditions. Consequently the ecology of islands is often simpler, but the relationships between species more important and the persisting plants and animals often more unique, than what might be found in mainland habitats. For example the islands within Channel Islands National Park support only four native mammals, the island fox, the island deer mouse, the harvest mouse and the spotted skunk. The fox and the deer mouse have evolved into separate sub-species on each island, resulting in eight unique mammal species found only on the Channel Islands.
Bats, though infrequently seen by most visitors, are common on Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa islands. Bats fulfill an important role, or niche, by consuming large numbers of insects and pollinating some plants. Eleven species of bats have been found on Santa Cruz, and the island is home to an important maternity colony of rare Townsend's big-eared bats.
Did You Know?
Although the park is within 60 miles of 18 million people, it is home to 175 miles of pristine undeveloped coastline.