The Farallon Islands National Wildlife Refuge boardwalk project was developed to protect burrow-nesting seabirds (Cassin’s and Rhinoceros Auklets, in particular). These birds, as well as Tufted Puffins, Pigeon Guillemots and Ashy Storm-Petrels lay their eggs and seek shelter in crevices, as well as burrows that they excavate in the soil. Burrows in the loose soil of the marine terrace are especially susceptible to human trampling and subsequent collapse. While human traffic is kept to a minimum in these areas, further protection from visitors and researchers was needed. When a burrow is crushed during the breeding season this usually results in the death of an egg or chick and possibly trapping and suffocating the adults as well.
The existing boardwalks were extremely deteriorated, posing a threat not only to the burrowing seabirds, but to human safety as well. The replacement boardwalk provides safe passage to and from facilities where research is conducted and high human traffic is warranted. The replacement boardwalk is made of recycled plastic lumber.
Year of grant: 1999
Grantee: US Fish & Wildlife Service