Farallon Islands

Farallon Islands - photo copyright Hugh D Scott

Farallon Islands – photo copyright Hugh D Scott

The Farallon Islands are a group of islands and sea stacks in the Gulf of the Farallones, off the coast of San Francisco, California. Lying 28 miles outside of the Golden Gate Bridge and 20 miles south of Point Reyes, they are visible from the mainland on clear days.

Interesting Facts:

  • The Farallones are actually a collection of several small, rocky islands. The largest and tallest of the islands is southeast Farallon, which rises to a height of 358 feet above the sea.
  • Did you know? The Farallon Islands are home to the largest sea bird nesting colony in the contiguous U.S. with over 300,000 breeding seabirds of 13 different species using the islands each year!
  • In 1996, a Northern Fur Seal pup was born on the islands, ending an absence that had lasted over 150 years.
  • Half the world’s population of endangered ashy storm-petrels breed on the Farallon Islands!
  • Lots of company! In addition to all the seabirds, the Farallon Islands provide breeding and feeding grounds for at least twenty-five endangered or threatened species; thirty-six marine mammal species, including blue, gray, and humpback whales, harbor seals, elephant seals, Pacific white-sided dolphins, and one of the last populations of threatened Steller sea lions.
  • Home to Jaws! The Farallon Islands are home to one of the most significant white shark populations on the planet, which are attracted to the islands for the abundant seal population.
  • San Francisco Whale Tours offer whale and wildlife watching tours to the Farallones year-round aboard the catamaran, Kitty Kat. For more information please visit: http://www.sanfranciscowhaletours.com/Whale_Watching_Vessels.html
  • For more information, please visit: http://farallones.noaa.gov/