The Palos Verdes IBA occupies 238,784 hectares of pelagic open water habitat. The IBA is located in the Southern California Bight ecoregion. The IBA is located on the southern edge of the Palos Verdes Peninsula, where extensive wetlands occur. Because of close proximity to dense human populations, pollution is the largest threat to the breeding birds.

It is owned and managed as: federal-other, and has the following primary uses: fisheries/aquaculture-other, military-other, tourism/recreation-other, oil extraction, and ports.

Palos Verdes is an IBA for the following species: Elegant Tern. It contains an estimated 44 Elegant Tern (breeding). The following species are on the Audubon WatchList: Elegant Tern.

Ornithological Summary

Palos Verdes is an IBA for the following species: Elegant Tern. It contains an estimated 44 Elegant Tern (breeding). These surveys were conducted between 1975 and 2006. The following species are on the Audubon WatchList: Elegant Tern.

Conservation Issues

The largest threat to the Palos Verdes IBA is years of pollution. In the 1970's a large percentage of DDT waste was flushed into the ocean along with municipal wastes including polychlorinated biphenyls. Although DDT and other pollutants are not longer legal, high levels remain in the sediments and ocean. Sediment samples show high levels of these pollutants, that are also present in the food chain. Fishes, invertebrates, and plankton also all show high levels of hydrocarbons due to the polluted environment. As these organisms are the prey of many feeding birds, the chemicals are likely high in the seabirds also. These high pollutant levels have been linked to higher incidence of disease in various fish species. The chemical runoff is also believed to have altered the overall community structure of the area.

Ownership

The Palos Verdes IBA is owned and managed as: federal-other.

Habitat

The Palos Verdes IBA is characterized by the following habitat types: open water. The IBA is located in the Southern California Bight ecoregion. Large kelp beds exist throughout this IBA creating diverse habitat for fishes and plankton. The continental shelf is a narrow terrance, providing an upwelling source. For most of the year, the surface currents generally blow northwest.

Land Use

The Palos Verdes IBA is used for: fisheries/aquaculture-other, military-other, tourism/recreation-other, oil extraction, and ports.