Island myths & legends

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  • 1. Island Myths &Legends{ and ACTION!

2. an explanation for something a symbolic narrative Usually involves a moral orlesson learned the events are symbolic ratherthan just the way it happened A myth 3. a story which is told as ifit were a historical event may or may not be anelaborated version of ahistorical event Robin Hood, JohnnyAppleseed, ZorroA legend 4. unique to a defined geographic location, suchas an island, nation or other defined zone, orhabitat type Its so special it only exists in that one location! More special if that one location is small (likePrisoners Harbor on Santa Cruz island.)An endemic species 5. DIET: summer holly, cholla cactus, rose, sumac,nightshade, native deer mice, ground-nesting birds andoccasionally grasshoppers and crickets.HABITAT: Valley and foothill grasslands, coastal dunes,coastal bluffs, coastal sage scrub, woodland, and coastalmarsh.INTERESTING FACTS: Descendants of the larger mainland gray fox. Foxes pair-bond for life. The first foxes are believed to have come to the islands more than 18,000 years ago by floating from Why is it smaller than the mainland on storm-generated debris.its mainland cousins? Genetically distinct subspecies of foxes evolved on six of the Channels Islands-San Miguel, Santa Rosa, Santa Cruz, San Nicholas, San Clemente and Catalina. Island foxes are the smallest North American canidae and occur only on the Channel Islands. The average weight for an adult male is 5-6 lbs, about the size of a house cat.Island FoxUrocyon littoralis santacruzae 6. HABITAT: Open ocean, nests on rocky islands.Breeds in protected rock crevices and burrows incolonies on offshore islands. Does not travel farfrom colonies after breeding season. DIET: The larvae of spiny lobsters, plankton, andalgae. VOICE: Twittering and squeaking notes given nearnest burrow. INTERESTING FACTS: Ejects a musky orange oil when disturbed Nest on only a few islands off the West Coast, usually in colonies of several hundred or a few thousand pairs. Half of the worlds population of Ashy Storm-Petrels occur in Channel Islands National Park. THREATS: Pollution in foraging areas, bright lights.In the late 1960s and early 1970s, researchers foundevidence of thinning eggshells caused by pesticides.Due to its restricted range and very small populationsize, the status of the species requires continuemonitoring. Why does it eject an orange oil?Ashy Storm-Petrel (Oceanodroma homochroa) 7. DIET: Wide variety of spiders, insects, pillbugs, moth larvae, a ground beetle and ants. They also eat an unusually large amount of plant material for a small lizard. HABITAT: Boxthorn, prickly pear cactus, cracks and crevices in and around rock outcrops, surface boulders that provide protections from predators. Native to Santa Barbara Island, San Nicolas, and San Clemente Islands. BEHAVIOR: Very sedentary, and have small home ranges, averaging about 183 sq. ft (17sq meters). Most active midday. THREATS: Numbers reduced due to farming, grazing, fire and introduction of nonnative animals and plants. Listed as threatened in 1977, the night lizard population has rebounded since then. INTERESTING FACTS: These lizards can live up to 20 years or more Once established in a territory they generally remain within a 3-meter radius their entire lives. Much larger than their cousins in the genus, the desert night lizards of southern CA.Why are they nightlizards if they are mostIsland Night Lizardactive midday with such a small range?(Xantusia riversiana) 8. DIET: Pacific mackerel, Pacific sardines, and northernanchovies. Anchovies are 90% of their diet during thebreeding season.HABITAT: Sandy coastal beaches nesting on the groundor cliffs of islands.BEHAVIOR: Pelicans are social birds. They fly in a singlefile low over the water (or in a V called a squadron.They usev heir keen eyesight to spot fish which they catchby plunge-diving at a shallow angle as they skim over thewater or by diving at steep angles from heights of 6-18 m(20-60 ft) in the air. The dives are forceful enough to stunfish 2 m (6 ft) underwater. Once prey is captured, pelicanspoint their bills downward to drain water, then tip themup to swallow the fish headfirst, repositioning the fish ifnecessary by tossing it in the air and catching it again.INTERESTING FACTS: The brown pelican is a conservation success story. Why does it have aClassified as endangered in 1970, after the banning of light blue eye duringDDT in 1972 populations have recovered.breeding season? Look for a light blue eye during breeding season.California Brown Pelican(Pelecanus occidentalis californicus) 9. DIET: Insects, spiders, snakes, lizards,mice, and other birds eggs. They also eatHow did it come to bethe thick-shelled acorns of the Island oaks, larger than the CAand will bury acorns to eat, sniffing them Scrub-Jay?out months later.HABITAT: Endemic to Santa Cruz Island.Prefers coast live-oak woodland orchaparral dominated by scrub oak.INTERESTING FACTS: Larger, more brightly colored, and has a larger bill compared to its mainland cousin, the California Scrub-Jay Island Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma insularis)