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Gulf of the Farallones: The Living Sanctuary

An elephant seal basking in the warmth of the infrequent sun on Southeast Farallon Island. (photo: Jan Roletto)

A California sea lion relaxes at the surface in the nearshore waters of the Gulf of the Farallones. (photo: Jan Roletto)

Stellar sea lions are one of several endangered species making a comeback in the Gulf of the Farallones. From the size of the male in this photo, one can see how they were named after lions. (photo: Bob Wilson)

Barnacles encroach upon the blowholes of a California gray whale. Barnacles are typical on gray whales and do not hurt them. Barnacles give the whales their characteristic mottled appearance. (photo: Jan Roletto)

Explosive jumpers, Pacific white-sided dolphins can often be seen by the thousands in Sanctuary waters. (photo: Tom Kieckhefer)

A nineteen foot white shark cruises the waters around SE Farallon searching for its next meal of an unsuspecting juvenile elephant seal. October is the peak month for shark attactks in this region. (photo: Scot Anderson) - click on image to read more...

In a behavior study conducted at the Farallon Islands, a white shark attacks a float rigged with a radio transmitter. The hope is that the shark will ingest the transmitter, enabling scientists to track its whereabouts for an extended period of time (photo: Scot Anderson)

Blue rockfish Sebastes mystinus hover nearshore amidst long stipes of bull whip kelp. The school moves with the gentle ebb and flow of the water as the mop-like fronds of kelp wave above. (photo: Gulf of the Farallones NMS)

A rosy rockfish Sebastes rosaceus rests near the bottom in the Gulf of the Farallones. (photo: Tony Chess)

A swirling mass of jack mackerel Trachurus symmetricus for a "bait ball" which draws feeding seabirds and marine mammals. (photo Gulf of the Farallones NMS)

Black-necked Stilts rest in the shallow water of an estuary in the Gulf of the Farallones. (photo: Gulf of the Farallones NMS)

Shorebirds, like Marbled Godwits and Willets, race in the waves of Sanctuary beaches, probing the sand with their long beaks in search of food. (photo: Gulf of the Farallones NMS)

Brown Pelicans inhabit open coastal waters along western and eastern North America. During the 1970's, the pesticide DDT caused eggshell thinning in many birds (including Pelicans) causing severe declines in populations. (photo: maria Brown)

A small octopus hides amid the rocks in a shallow tidepool. (photo: Joe Heath)

Two Spanish shawl nudibranchs (or sea slugs) cavort in a mating dance in the shallows of the Sanctuary. Nudibranchs are very small, averaging less than an inch in length. (photo: Tony Chess)

A fully-opened giant green anemone sits in a tidepool in Jewel Cave on Southeast Farallon. (photo: Karina Racz)

Colorfull sea stars decorate the algae-covered rocks of a tidepool along the central California Coast. (photo: Joe Heath)

Dungeness crabs are common in the Gulf fo the Farallones and are a favorite menu item at Fishermen's Wharf in San Francisco. (photo: Gulf of the Farallones NMS)

Pink coralline algae forms branches in the rock intertidal of the Sanctuary and provides shelter for many small invertebrates. (photo: Joe Heath)

Branches of algae, or seaweed, that cast ashore in the tideline often resemble the branches of terrestrial plants or trees. Because of the insects and other organisms that cling to it, this beach wrack is an important foraging area for shorebirds. (photo: Joe Heath)

Sea palms are only exposed during the lowest low tides. These hardy miniature palms have strong holdfasts and thrive in the intense force of the waves. (photo: Joe Heath)

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Revised September 12, 2023 by Sanctuaries Web Team | Contact Us | Web Site Owner: National Ocean Service
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