The California brown pelican has recently been delisted, and is an amazing conservation success story. These birds have been observed roosting at Seal Rocks, Alcatraz Island, Hyde Street Pier, Bird Island, and Kent Island in Bolinas Lagoon. Brown pelicans feed on small fish such as the anchovy along the Pacific coast and in Bolinas and Rodeo lagoons. Threats to this species include boating and active recreation in roosting areas, oil spills, and climatic factors affecting anchovy availability.
The endangered American peregrine falcon has historically nested at three sites in Golden Gate between the Golden Gate Bridge and Muir Beach since 1990, including Kirby Cove. Peregrines are also known to over‑winter on Bolinas Lagoon. Between 15 and 30 peregrine falcons of all three subspecies — tundra, Peale’s, and the continental — have been observed in the park by the Golden Gate Raptor Observatory. Threats to this species include visitation by fishermen and adventurers, and toxic contaminants. Peregrine falcon decline is linked to the organochlorine pesticide DDT, which thinned egg shells, causing parents to crush their own offspring. DDT was banned in 1972, but other organochlorines still enter the local environment. The peregrine falcon has been proposed for de-listing by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS).
The threatened northern spotted owl was listed in 1990. Northern spotted owls are widely distributed in forested regions from southern British Columbia through Washington, Oregon, and northwestern California. They reach the southern limit of their range in Marin County, where they occur in Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Muir Woods National Monument, Point Reyes National Seashore, and other parts of the county. These three national park units began a joint systematic survey for spotted owls in Marin County in 1993. Preliminary results of these surveys indicate that the county may support the highest density of spotted owls nationwide. Northern spotted owls are typically found in old- and mature second-growth forests, but in Marin County they reside in second- and old-growth Douglas fir, bishop pine, coast redwood, mixed conifer-hardwood, and evergreen hardwood forests. Threats to this species include urban development along protected-area boundaries, intense urban recreational pressures, potential for catastrophic wildfires due to unnatural fuel buildup, possible genetic isolation, and range expansion of the barred owl.
The threatened marbled murrelet are found in forest stands with old growth characteristics, and are extremely sensitive to disturbance and noise in the vicinity of nesting areas. A few unverified inland sightings have been reported since 1990. Systematic surveys have been conducted in Muir Woods National Monument and no murrelets have been detected. Marbled murrelets are infrequently seen in nearshore waters from mid-summer through winter. Detection of breeding murrelets in Marin would be extremely significant as there is a geographical gap between breeding populations in San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties to the south, and Mendocino County to the north. Threats to this species include range expansion of ravens, urban development, and urban recreational pressures.