Channel Islands National Park consists of five of the eight Channel Islands off the coast of the of California, Their distance from the shoreline of Ventura County ranges between 10 and 45 miles off shore. Although the islands are close to the shore of densely-populated Southern California, their isolation has left them relatively undeveloped.
Channel Islands National Park is home to a wide variety of significant natural and cultural resources. It was designated a U.S. National Monument on April 26, 1938, and a National Biosphere Reserve in 1976. It became a National Park on March 5, 1980.
The park consists of 249,354 acres (100,910 ha), half of which are under the ocean, and include the islands of:
•San Miguel 9,325 acres (3,774 ha)
•Santa Rosa 52,794 acres (21,365 ha)
•Anacapa 699 acres (283 ha)
•Santa Barbara 639 acres (259 ha)
•Santa Cruz 60,645 acres (24,542 ha) 76% owned by the Nature Conservancy, 24% by the National Park Service.
Annual visitation to the park's mainland visitor center in Ventura California is 300,000. However approximately 30,000 visitors traveling to the islands, and another 60,000 who go only into park waters. Most visitation occurs in the summer, migrating gray whales and spectacular wildflower displays attract visitors in the winter and spring. Autumn is an excellent time to travel to the park, as well as for diving, as the days are usually sunny, with minimal winds and clear ocean water.
More than 2,000 species of plants and animals can be found within the park. However only three mammals are endemic to the islands, one of which is the deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus) which is known to carry the deadly sin nombre hanta virus. Spotted Skunk and Channel Islands Fox also are endemic. The Island fence lizard is also endemic to the Channel Islands. Other animals in the park include Island Scrub Jay, harbor seal, California sea lion, island fox, spotted skunk, island night lizard, barn owl, American kestrel, horned lark and meadowlark and California brown pelican. One hundred and forty-five of these species are unique to the islands and found nowhere else in the world. Marine life ranges from microscopic plankton to the endangered blue whale, the largest animal ever to live on earth.
Originally settled by the Chumash Indian tribe the islands are rich in archeological and cultural resources that span a period of more than 10,000 years. A skull found on Santa Cruz Island has been carbon dated as 13,800 years old, making it the oldest known human on the North American continent. Since the islands are isolated this discovery has called into question whether the original inhabitants of North America came via the land bridge at the Bering Straits. This specimen could only have arrived by Ocean.
Anacapa Island is a small volcanic island located about 14 miles (23 km) off the coast of Ventura, California, in Ventura County and is the 2nd smallest Island in the chain.
The "Anacapas" consist of three small islets that are a part of part of the Channel Islands archipelago (island chain), and are part of the Channel Islands National Park. It is the smallest of the northern islands. The island is actually composed of three islets: East Island, Middle Island and West Island.
The official 2000 census population was 3 permanent residents (Ranger Station in the eastern part of East Island), and the total land area was 2.947 square kilometres (1.138 sq mi). The highest peak is Summit Peak 2 on West Island, 930 feet (283 m).
East Island's most notable natural feature is Arch Rock, a 40-foot (12 m)-high natural bridge.
Anacapa is the only one of the Channel Islands to have a non-Spanish-derived name. Anacapa comes from the Chumash word eneepah, meaning mirage island.
On the night of December 2, 1853, the sidewheel steamer Winfield Scott running at full speed crashed into the rocks off Middle Anacapa and sank. All of the passengers survived and were rescued after a week.
The United States Coast Guard built a light beacon in 1912 and a light station in 1932 (Anacapa Island Light). It was the last lighthouse built by the United States Lighthouse Service. The lighthouse is located on the eastern part of the island, at the entrance to the Santa Barbara Channel.
On January 31, 2000, Alaska Airlines Flight 261 crashed near the island.
Invasive ship rats (Rattus rattus) are thought to have been introduced to the island from the wrecked ship. As they bred they had devastating consequences for the island's seabirds and other native species, the rats were successfully eradicated in 2001–2002. With the rats gone, the number of rare Xantus' Murrelets has increased more than 80 percent in the last three years. This is one of many recoveries following invasive species eradications from the Channel Islands. Anacapa Island is a nesting place for gulls that are found in Southern California, thousands of chicks are hatched here each spring.
Another invasive species of Anacapa is ice plant (Carpobrotus edulis). The United States Coast Guard introduced the African plant to the island in the 1950s to prevent erosion. The National Park Service has initiated a restoration project to eradicate all of the ice plant by 2016, the centennial of the National Park Service Organic Act.
The rare plant Anacapa Island desert-dandelion (Malacothrix junakii) is known only from the island. Brilliant yellow coriopsis flowers bloom from early March through late April.
All of the images in this set were taken on a day long excursion to East Anacapa Island on May 20th 2011. My plan is to visit and photograph on two additional Islands --- Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa--- later this summer
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Channel Islands National Park: Anacapa Islanda set by lhg_11/ Thanks you for 500,000 views of 6,371 iima
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