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THE WILDLIFE OF THE CHANNEL ISLANDS

The California Coast is predominately composed by Rocky Shores and Kelp Forests. In cool, temperate regions, the one type of Ecosystem is often an extension of the other. One common thread is the predominance of sedentary organism, which life is regulated by the the tides, a features also shared by coral reefs that replace Kelp Forests in suitable tropical environments.

The Channel Islands, located in the Central Coast of California, is a unique and delicate ecosystem to the point to be considered the Galapagos of the North Pacific. A great diversity of animal species can be found year around, from top predators like the Bald Eagle and the Great White Shark, to intertidal residents such as sea urchins and barnacles, and the most valuable  and endemic species unique of the islands such as the island fox with its six subspecies. 
The extremely productive waters around the islands give home and feeding ground to many species of Marine Mammals. Four species of pinnipeds (
seals and sea lions) and eighteen species of cetaceans (whales and dolphins) either breed on or around the islands or feed in the productive waters of the Channel.
The Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary has been also recognized as an important breeding and resting area for a variety of landbirds, shorebirds, and
seabirds; and it is notable how Anacapa Island give shelter to the largest colony of our Californian Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis californicus).

The Santa Barbara Channel waters become the 9th Whale Heritage Area in the world. The Whale Heritage Area program is an initiative created by the World Cetacean Alliance and the World Animal Protection to formally recognize and accredit destinations around the world that support and demonstrate responsible and sustainable whale and dolphin watching tourism. 

CETACEANS
PINNIPEDS
Fishes_Polaroid
SEABIRDS

FIELD GUIDE TO THE
CHANNEL ISLANDS
WILDLIFE

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