The Farallon Islands, part of the City and County of San Francisco, is a National Wildlife Refuge located 27 miles west of the Golden Gate Bridge. Cold ocean currents and other environmental factors there lead to high ocean productivity and a thriving marine wildlife ecology. Biologists working for PRBO/Point Blue Conservation Science and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have resided on Southeast Farallon Island every day since April 1968, studying all aspects of the island's environment and ecology. Peter Pyle spent over 2,100 nights at the island's biological station in 1980-2003, primarily focused on birds, marine mammals, and white sharks, but also dabbling in everything else including bats, dragonflies, salamanders, butterflies, crickets, mushrooms, and, yes, even the island's unique fog-whipped flora. Peter's talk will briefly cover the ecology and conservation of the islands' marine vertebrates. He will then present a history of botanical investigation on the island, his first successful attempt to key out a plant, and information on the ca. 45 each of indigenous and non-native species that have been recorded there. He will consider everything from the dominant and endemic "Farallon Weed" (Lasthenia maritima) to pioneer scouts that have been recorded only once, to efforts at invasive species removal. He will also bring up for discussion the possible effects that the proposed eradication of invasive house mice may have on the island's flora.
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