Channel Islands National Park Facts

Channel Islands National Park Facts
Channel Islands National Park is a 249,561 acre park located off the coast of California in the United States. The Channel Islands National Park was originally designated as a national monument in 1938. In 1973 it was designated a National Biosphere Reserve. In 1980 it was re-designated as Channel Islands National Park. The park is encompassed by a six nautical mile stretch of water called Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary. Of the parks 249,561 acres, 79,019 acres are federally owned, and the largest island Santa Cruz Island, is managed and 76% owned by the Nature Conservancy.
Interesting Channel Islands National Park Facts:
Channel Islands National Park consists of five islands. These islands include San Miguel (9,325 acre island), Santa Rosa Island (52,794 acre island), Anacapa Island (699 acre island), Santa Barbara Island (639 acre island), and Santa Cruz Island (60,645 acre island).
Anacapa Island and Santa Barbara Island were originally protected because they serve as nesting grounds for seals, seabirds, sea lions, and many other threatened species of marine life.
Half of Channel Islands National Park acres are under the water in the ocean.
There are only three mammals that are native to the islands of Channel Islands National Park. These three species are the deer mouse, spotted skunk, and the Channel Islands fox.
The island fence lizard is native to the Channel Islands.
There are at least 70 plant species that can be found growing only on the Channel Islands.
The only breeding ground south of Alaska for a colony of the northern fur seal is located on the Channel Islands.
Wildlife found living in Channel Islands National Park include the harbor seal, California brown pelican, island fox, California sea lion, American kestrel, blue whale, horned lark, and even the bald eagle, which hatched unaided by humans for the first time in 50 years in 2006 in the park.
The Chumash Indians lived on the Channel Islands until early in the 1800s. These Indians used tar from oil seeps (natural oil escapes) to seal their canoes, which made it possible for them to travel from one island to the next. This oil seep tar is still seen on beaches in the area today.
The oldest human bones ever found in North America were found on Santa Rosa Island in Channel Islands National Park. They date back to 13,000 BC. These bones are called the Arlington Springs Man.
Because the Channel Islands were created from tectonic plate shifts, they were never attached to the mainland and have plants and animals that can't be found elsewhere on the planet and have earned the islands the nickname of the Galapagos of North America.
There are than 150 plant and animal species found in Channel Islands National Park that are unique only to the islands including the island scrub jay which can only be found on Santa Cruz Island.
The most complete pygmy mammoth skeleton, dating to 13,000 BC was found on Santa Rosa Island.
Santa Cruz is home to one of the world's largest sea caves - Painted Cave.
Only about 30,000 people visit the islands of Channel Islands National Park each year. Visitors can kayak, camp, backpack, scuba dive, spearfish, and explore the islands to site see and watch wildlife.


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