Channel Islands National Park
Channel Islands National park is located in off the coast of California in the United States. The park holds 249,561 acres and is comprised of five of the eight Channel Islands. The area was designated as a national monument in 1938 and as a National Biosphere Reserve in 1976, but was not designated as a national park until 1980. The park extends from San Pedro to Point Conception, located near Santa Barbara. Half of the entire park consists of ocean water and seventy-six percent of the park’s largest island, Santa Cruz Island, is managed by the Nature Conservancy.
Channel Islands National Park supports over two thousand animal and plant species, of which one hundred and forty-five animal species are native. However, only three mammals are native to the park, including the deer mouse and the Channel Islands fox. Other animals that occur in the park include the native Island fence lizard, the barn owl, the meadowlark, the blue whale, and the harbor seal.
The mainland and the visitor center of Channel Islands National Park receives about 300,000 visitors each year, while the waters of the park receive about 60,000 and the islands only 30,000.Most visitors travel to the park during the summer, but many arrive in the winter to view the migration of gray whales. The spring season brings beautiful wildflowers to the park and the summer brings optimum diving conditions for scuba divers. Visitors can partake in other activities including kayaking, camping, hiking, and spear fishing. The park offers tour guides to visitors who are unfamiliar with the park and its changing conditions, which can be dangerous to the unwary.
Image Caption: Point Mugu Peak And Channel Islands National Park In Southern California. Shot From Tripeaks In The Boney Mountain Wilderness. Credit: Photos.com