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Farallon Islands National Wildlife Refuge

The Farallon Islands, 30 miles off San Francisco, are not open to the public, but there is an exhibit on Farallon wildlife at the San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge Complex visitor center in Fremont, California. Visitors can also take commercial boat trips that will bring them close enough to see cormorants, gulls, alcids, and Black Oystercatchers during breeding activity in late spring and summer, as well as whales, sea lions, and seals. Management programs on the islands focus on returning them to their natural state, in order to preserve them as breeding grounds for many species of seabirds, some of which are declining. The islandsí key bird species are the Ashy Storm-Petrel; Double-crested, Brandt's, and Pelagic Cormorants; Western Gull; Black Oystercatcher; Common Murre; Pigeon Guillemot; Tufted Puffin; and Rhinoceros and Cassin's Auklets. Conservation activities include removing non-native plants and reintroducing native plants that these birds use for nesting materials. Northern Elephant Seals, California Sea Lions, Northern (Steller's) Sea Lions, Harbor Seals, and Northern Fur Seals are also monitored here.

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