Visitors wishing to see the Farallon National Wildlife Refuge can now skip the 30-mile boat ride to the islands and instead watch from their home thanks to a new webcam that’s been installed there, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Tuesday.
The new high-definition webcam was recently mounted to the island’s highest peak, providing real time panoramic views of the islands, which are located just off the coast of San Francisco, fish and wildlife officials said.
According to the refuge’s manager Gerry McChesney:
“The Farallon National Wildlife Refuge is a globally important ecological treasure and a home for close to half a million seabirds every year. … Though the refuge is closed to the public because of its fragile ecosystem, the webcam offers anyone the chance to get a look at its magnificent wildlife and terrain.”
The islands that make up the Farallon National Wildlife Refuge are home to an abundance of significant wildlife populations, including the largest seabird nesting colony in the lower 48 states in addition to thousands of seals and sea lions. The refuges also hosts rare species not found anywhere else on the planet, such as the Farallon Cave Cricket and the Farallon Arboreal Salamander, fish and wildlife officials said.
The webcam was made possible because of a joint effort between the fish and wildlife service, Point Blue Conservation Science and the California Academy of Sciences.
The new camera is meant to inspire more people to learn about and support the wildlife refuge, according to fish and wildlife officials.
To view the webcam, wildlife enthusiasts can go to www.calacademy.org/farallones.