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 »
Contact: Yvonne Menard, 805-658-5725
One of the First Species Listed as a Federal Endangered Species is Proposed to be Removed from the List
Today, Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne formally proposed removing the California Brown Pelican from the federal list of threatened and endangered species along with the remaining protected populations of brown pelicans along the Gulf and Pacific Coasts, Caribbean, and Central and South America.
The Channel Islands support the two primary breeding colonies of California Brown Pelicans on the west coast of the United States with rookeries on Anacapa and Santa Barbara Islands.
California Brown Pelicans were declared federally endangered in 1970 after a drastic decline in reproductive success was observed. The cause of this decline was attributed to high levels of DDT in the food chain which resulted in eggshells so thin, the eggs were crushed during incubation.
In 1970, only one chick out of 550 nests in the West Anacapa pelican colony survived— leaving this subspecies on the verge of extirpation. DDT was banned in 1972 and pelican reproduction began improving by the late 1970s.
“The recovery of pelicans is a tremendous milestone for conservation in our country,” said Channel Islands National Park Superintendent Russell Galipeau. “This species has been safeguarded by the Endangered Species Act, as well as sheltered within a national park, on remote islands that provide undisturbed nesting and roosting habitat.”
The pelican population on West Anacapa Island has averaged at about 4,600 nesting pairs annually during the past decade. In 2004, the Anacapa breeding population peaked at nearly 8,000 nesting pairs while the lowest number in the past ten years was in 2003 with 2,700 nesting pairs. To the south on neighboring Santa Barbara Island, there has been an annual average of about 1,500 nesting pairs in the past ten years, with an estimated high of 4,000 nests occurring in 2006.
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Did You Know?
Although the park is within 60 miles of 18 million people, it is home to 175 miles of pristine undeveloped coastline.