Posts Tagged ‘Farallon’

San Francisco Opposes the Feds Killing Off Mice on the Farallon Islands? Fear of Dead Seagulls Scaring Tourists?

Thursday, December 11th, 2014

Well, this is news to me.

All the Feds want to do is kill off the mice of the Farallones and San Francisco is standing in the way?

Check out how our Federales scored a “rip-roaring conservation success” exterminating vermin up in Alaska at Hawadex Island, which was known for centuries as “Rat Island.”

I’ll tell you, I can’t name any of the “visionary policies and innovative programs” created by SF Environment that Director Deborah Raphael boasts of.

Can you, Gentle Reader?

One down, a million to go – here’s the big version, via nature photographer Jenny Erbes.

(more…)

On a Clear Day You Can See the Farallon Islands from the Sunset District – But on a Foggy Day, Maybe Yes, Maybe No

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

The biggest of the Farallones is in this shot, if you can spot it, 25 miles away…

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This was a much better than average day for looking for the Farallones…

Can You Name the Extreme Points of San Francisco – North, South, East, and West? It’s Hard!

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

[UPDATE: Oh, man, you people are clever:

1. So what about SFO airport as southernmost? Well, that place is “owned and policed by the City and County of San Francisco, but is located in and entirely surrounded by adjacent San Mateo County.” So that’s why the San Mateo County Coroner was involved in the SFFD’s bungled handling of the Asiana 214 crash landing. Another situation would be with San Francisco’s O’Shaughnessy Dam up in Hetch Hetchy near Yosemite - a murder on top of that dam would be prosecuted by the Tuolumne County DA (or maybe the Feds – you all might be right, IDK), not by the SFDA. Don’t ask me about which DA would handle a stabbing at San Francisco Jails #5 or #6 down in San Bruno, San Mateo County. (Perhaps the counties have an agreement over prosecution? IDK.) OTOH, a crime on the western tip of Alameda Island would be handled by the SFDA.

2. And Candlestick Point (and the entire southern border of mainland SF)? It’s ever just ever north of the southernmost part of the Farallones – that’s a real close call.)

This is hard, this game of identifying the northernmost, southernmost, westernmost, and easternmost points of San Francisco.

If you guess, you’re going to make mistakes.

All right, in no particular order, here are the answers:

Seal Rock, aka Saddle Rock

Red Rock

North Farallon Islands

Alameda Island 

I’m srsly.

1. Northermost: Red Rock Island. It’s about eight miles north of Fisherman’s Wharf. Seems as if it’s always for sale. You can get there by kayak and then hike to the top if you want – put that on your bucket list.

As seen from the mainland of San Francisco. The Richmond San Rafael Bridge and East Brother Island are in the background:

Red Rock at 600mm on a very clear day. Don’t try this with your iPhone camera – your shot might not come out so hot.

2. Southernmost: Seal Rock, South Farallon Islands. It’s south of Southeast Farallon Island. It can be seen on the left side here.

And here it is as seen from Twin Peaks:

840mm, on a very clear day.

3. Westernmost: North Farallon Islands.

Actually, it’s this islet in the upper left here, seen with North Farallon Island and St. James Island in the lower right. (I’m surprised that this unnamed rock hasn’t yet been named for a longtime local political strongman like Willie Brown or Rose Pak):

4, Easternmost: Alameda Island. Surprise! Work out your denial issues here.

As seen from the (old) Bay Bridge, the eastern span, the one that was never named for a local political strongman, like Willie Brown or Rose Pak: 

Here are the four points, underlined, to sum up:

Oh, even better is if you let Google Maps highlight the county line in red. (If you zoom in on the linked page, you can also see a couple of places on Angel Island that Google similarly correctly ID’ed as parts of San Francisco.)

Thanks for playing!

Here’s What Happens to Your Mylar Helium Balloons: They Fly to Middle Farallon Island and Mess with the Sea Lions

Monday, December 30th, 2013

See?

Perhaps from a Raider’s game, or a black celebration:

Steller sea lion with Mylar balloons near Middle Farallon (photo by CS) – click to expand

Get all the deets on westernmost San Francisco from Notes from Smellephant IslandThe adventures of a wayward biologist living with seals on the Farallon Islands”

 

The “World’s Most Rodent-Packed Island” is in San Francisco – When Will We Let the Feds Kill the Mice on South Farallon?

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

Here we go, from the USA Today from a few months back:

“Those suffering from musophobia would be wise to steer clear of the South Farallon Islands. The archipelago, which sits just 27 miles off San Francisco, is the most rodent-dense island in the world, with an average of 500 Eurasian house mice occupying each of its 120 acres (that’s 60,000 total).”

Now I’ll tell you, I have had it with these motherfucking mice on this motherfucking island.

So why don’t we finally get rid of them, like this:

South Farallon Islands Invasive House Mouse Eradication Project: Revised Draft Environmental Impact Statement

(That’s posted on a either pro-mouse or anti-mouse website – I just can’t tell and don’t really care.)

A few years back, up in Alaska, the Feds killed off all the rats on Rat Island in the Rat Island Group:

THE RAT ISLAND RAT ERADICATION PROJECT: A CRITICAL EVALUATION OF NONTARGET MORTALITY - Final report issued December 2010

See? That was a huge success. Now the chopper pilots were nervous up there ’cause a big storm was coming so they wanted to bug out of there with a quickness so they didn’t follow their marching orders very well so more bald eagles died than was necessary. But they killed all the rats on Rat Island, hurray!

All we need to do is nothing. Then the feds can get off their asses and start killing all the mice.

“More study” is NOT needed.

That’s your update.

A relatively fog-free day in the Sunset District.

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Through the tinted glass of the ginourmous windows of Yelp-rated Sava Pool

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From a higher sperspective in the Twin Peaks area, on an exceptionally clear morning.

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Can you see the lighthouse on the top of South East Farallon Island?

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Noisy Canon 10D at 840mm, from Christmas Tree Point Road, a skosh more than 30 miles away…

OMG, Your Best Way to Spend $125: 2012 Farallon Island Whale Watching Season Starts May 26th!

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

Check it, our very own Oceanic Society is kicking off annual Farallon Island whale watching season on May 26, 2012.

All the deets:

WHALE WATCH/NATURE CRUISES TO FARALLON ISLANDS BEGIN MAY 26 
 
San Francisco, California – Oceanic Society’s educational day long boat trips to the Farallon Islands, just 27 miles west of San Francisco, will operate May 26 through November 25, with departures available from San Francisco and Sausalito. 
 
Blue whales (the largest animal to have ever lived on earth), Humpback whales, Pacific white-sided dolphins, Harbor porpoises, Risso’s dolphins and Northern right whale dolphins all may be encountered during the whale-watch cruises to the islands and the nearby continental shelf. 
 
An exceptional wilderness area, the Farallon Islands National Wildlife Refuge is the largest seabird rookery in the eastern Pacific south of Alaska – including nesting Tufted puffins, Pigeon guillemots, Rhinoceros auklets, Common murres, Black oystercatchers and cormorants. The Islands are also a breeding haven and home to California sea lions, northern elephant seals, Steller sea lions, Harbor seals and fur seals. 
 
Though only scientists are permitted on the islands, the abundance of wildlife may be closely observed and photographed from aboard the Salty Lady, Oceanic Society’s 56-foot, Coast Guard-certified vessel. The boat holds 48 passengers. 
 
Experienced naturalists lead each excursion to help identify seabirds and locate whales and interpret their behavior. The naturalists also provide informal discussions on marine wildlife and on the history of the islands. Passengers also benefit from the presence of whale researchers from the Cascadia Research Collective, scientists who have studied these whales since the early 1990’s. 
 
Oceanic Society trips to the Farallon Islands depart Saturdays, Sundays and select Fridays from the Marina Green in San Francisco. Trips begin at 8 a.m. and last about eight hours.  Passengers also have the option of departing at 7:15 a.m. from the Sausalito Clipper Yacht Harbor. The minimum age is 10, and an adult must accompany children under 15.  Participants supply their own food and beverages. 
 
The fee is $125 per person, with special group rates available. The fee includes a copy of “The Farallon Islands: Past, Present, and Future,” a 42-minute DVD produced by the Oceanic Society in cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The DVD offers a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the natural and human history of the Farallon Islands and provides a virtual land tour of the islands. (Additional DVDs cost $15.)
 
Founded in 1969, the mission of the Oceanic Society is to protect marine wildlife and oceanic biodiversity through an integrated program of scientific research and environmental education. An official partner of the Farallon National Wildlife Refuge, Oceanic Society has offered educational whale-watch cruises since 1984 and is the only nonprofit organization that offers whale-watch trips year round in the Bay Area. 
 
Reservations for the Farallon Islands whale-watch trips are advised. Please call 415- 256-9941 or 800-326-7491 or register atwww.oceanicsociety.org. For recorded information on current wildlife sightings, call 415-258-8220.

Sea you there!

The Feds Don’t Know Jack About Solyndra or the Central Subway, But They DO Know How to Kill Mice on the Farallones

Monday, October 17th, 2011

Obviously, non-targeted species will be affected when the Feds airbomb the Farallon Islands with rodenticide to kill all those mice.

Like this one. See it? Here’s the big version, via nature photographer Jenny Erbes.

But so what. What’s the deal?

This is one of the things that the feds do right.

Like, they were so effective up north not too long ago that Rat Island will need a new name after 229 years.

So, hurry up Feds, we’re waiting on you…

Alaska’s Rat Island is Free of Rats after 229 Years, So Why Can’t Our Farallon Islands be Free of Rodents as Well?

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

You see, the Feds had a plan to kill the famous rats of Rat Island, Alaska and they did that, with extreme prejudice, just a few years back.

See? No more Japanese rats from that shipwreck of the 18th century:

Click to expand

So why can’t the Feds do the same thing with our Farallon Islands?

Get cracking, Feds.

Oh Marin, You So Crazy (OMYSC)! Saving the Non-Native, Bird-Killing Siberian House Mice of the Farallon Islands

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

You know, one of these days, I’ll start a half-assed non-profit, pay myself a six-figure salary, put the wife on staff, hire the kids too, put cute animal pictures on the homepage to keep the cash coming in – whew, good times.

Anyway, unrelated to that, srsly, comes now WildCare Bay Area to object to the Feds’ plans to airdrop a couple tons of poison on the Farallones (or Farallon Islands, (Spanish for pillars or “rocky outcrop,” see comments)) to kill the thousands of resident, non-native house mice what eat the eggs of endangered native birds.

Like this one. See it? Here’s the big version, via nature photographer Jenny Erbes.

Via Los Farallones

All right, enough of Marin, let’s hear from the people on the scene:

Dec 31, 2010
In general, however, it is known that owls are an opportunistic eater, feasting on the introduced house mice, but also preying upon songbirds, small seabirds (such as the ashy storm-petrel), beetles, and other terrestrial invertebrates …

May 25, 2010
While they rate very high on the cuteness quotient, overwintering Burrowing Owls are major predators of storm petrels during the spring, after abundant housemice have their seasonal population crash. Western Gulls also take many storm …
Feb 19, 2007
In 1969, south farallon was declared a national wildlife refuge. the lighthouse was automated in 1972, ending 117 years of continuous occupation. the last rabbit and cat were removed from the islands in 1974…

In closing, Marin, You So Crazy!

A relatively fog-free day in the Sunset District.

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Through the tinted glass of the ginourmous windows of Yelp-rated Sava Pool

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From a higher sperspective in the Twin Peaks area, on an exceptionally clear morning.

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Can you see the lighthouse on the top of South East Farallon Island?

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Noisy Canon 10D at 840mm, from Christmas Tree Point Road, a skosh more than 30 miles away…

Where Oh Where is the U.S.S. Independence (CVL-22)? Is It Filled With Nuclear Waste Sitting Next to the Farallones? Yep

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

We’ve had more U.S.S. Independences than you can shake a stick at over the centuries, but this one is the one we had during the bulk of WWII. She came straight out of Joisey in ’42 and survived The Pacific War only to get blowed up with atomic bombs during testing at South Pacific locales like Bikini Atoll in 1946.

Before:

Then after, after the big atomic kaboom at Bikini. Ouch:

Anyway, instead of sinking, the Independence kept on floating so the Navy towed her right to Hunters Point in south San Francisco. Now, let’s let Lisa Davis(?) of SF Weekly take over – here’s her bit from all the way back in aught-one.

So there you go. Most likely, this old-school baby aircraft carrier is down there resting with a cargo of nuclear waste not too far from our Farallon Islands, radiating away.

Oh well.