Friday, April 1, 2011

If There Were No Farallon Eggs, There Would Be No Egg War

The huge influx of gold-hungry prospectors to San Francisco after 1848 led to the near-immediate devouring of any existing poultry for celebratory dinners. The population then found itself (mysteriously!) without any egg-laying hens, and the second great poaching of the Farallon Islands (following the seal poaching by the Russian settlement in the pre-Gold Rush decades) began in earnest, as hordes of desperate men climbed the slippery rocks of the Farallones in search of seabird eggs to sell to the hungry city.
But don't be too hard on the hardworking prospectors for poor planning - with more information and greater technology, modern Californians are unfortunately even more destructive and equally oblivious of long-term conservation issues. 

(click on the image to expand)