Sunday, January 20, 2008

Today in Farallon History

Today is 'Elephant Seal Day' on the Farallones. We celebrate this day to remember January 20, 1972: the birthday of the first elephant seal pup born on the Farallones after over 100 years of absence.

PRBO biologists have been observing the Farallon Islands from our field station on Farallon National Wildlife Refuge since June 7, 1967. Every evening, the biologists write a journal of all the noteworthy happenings on the islands, including the birds, marine mammals, and facilities. Here are a few gleanings from this day in Farallon Journal History.


PRBO folks on the Island: Lee, Bond, Bogle, Chinn.
Southeast Farallon Island Elephant seal scorecard:
Sand Flat = 65 cows, 38 pups, 2 weaners, Salvatore is alpha bull.
Mirounga Beach = 19 cows, 13 pups, Rusty is alpha bull.
Marine Terrace Sand Flat = 14 cows and 12 pups, Bedlam Boy alpha.
Marine Terrace Mirounga Beach = 2 cows, 2 pups, Don Quixote alpha.
Huge fight between the two highest ranking bulls, Salvatore and Rusty, left Upper Mirounga Beach bloodstained, both bulls battered, and no change in dominance or harem control.

On this day in 1972 - PRBO staff on the island was: Lewis.
- First elephant seal pup born on SEFI since the species was extirpated and presumed extinct in late 1800s. Female pup was tagged Pink 1.
- Total number of elephant seals on Farallones = 2.

Also noteworthy events from 1972
- Nixon president of the US, Salvador Allende president of Chile.
- “Streets of San Francisco” TV show premieres.
- Transamerica pyramid building completed in downtown San Francisco.

30 years ago today- 1978
- PRBO staff on the island was: Huber, Morrell, Nisbet, Peaslee, Peterson, Potash, and Rovetta.
- A 20’ white shark killed and ate a cow-sized elephant seal off Sea Pigeon Gulch.
- Stormy weather created a waterspout in Mirounga Bay, and large swells washed across Sand Flat taking 1 pup out to sea.
- Sand Flat e-seal numbers = 71 cows, 43 pups, 1 weaner, Dimple is alpha bull.

Other noteworthy local events from 1978
- Dianne Feinstein, president of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, announces that former Board of Supervisors member Dan White had murdered Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk at City Hall in San Francisco. "Twinkie defense" gets White's conviction down to manslaughter.
- Johnnie Rotton quits Sex Pistols after final show of US tour at Winterland Ballroom, San Francisco.

20 years ago today- 1988 - PRBO staff on the island was: Calder, Emslie, Ferone, Lerdau, Montgomery, and Sydeman.
- Storm winds tore hundreds of shingles off the roof and blew out a window of the Salamander house. Fresh water supply tested, found to be turbid and E. coli contaminated. Boom won’t raise/lower at east landing.
- SEFI e-seal numbers = 93 cows, 43 pups. Pilgrim alpha bull at Sand Flat and Sherlock alpha at Mirounga Beach.

Other noteworthy local events from 1988
- Mandatory rationing of water for 2.1 million residents of the San Francisco area after two consecutive dry winters and a failure of voluntary efforts.

10 years ago today- 1998 - PRBO staff on the island was: Nusbaum, Pitkin, and Windsor.
- Pod of ~1000 common dolphins swam past East Landing (a sign of El NiƱo).
- Electrical power generator died during dinner.
- Sand Flat e-seal numbers = 50 cows, 37 pups. Meaty Boy alpha bull at Sand Flat, Sashimi alpha at Mirounga Beach.

- one of the strongest El Nino events in history brought the wettest San Francisco winter since 1862.


Anonymous said...


Here I was just noodling the web in search of a Farallons image and found this wonderful photo of all of us in 1978. Left to right you have: Teya McElroy, Harriet Huber, Laurie Fry, Bryant Bainbridge, a visiting researcher whose name I have forgotten & Jerry Nusbaum. I believe we are posing with a cake shaped like the island.

-Bryant Bainbridge

viagra online said...

I would like to visit a similar place when I take my next vacation, I think that this place is in south America.Excellent photos my friend.

Anonymous said...

The missing name from that 1978 photo is Andrea Meyer.