Cabrillo National Monument
Cabrillo National Monument is at the southern tip of the Point Loma Peninsula in San Diego, California. It commemorates the landing of Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo at San Diego Bay on September 28,1542 and this event marked the first time a European expedition had set foot on what became the West Coast of the United States. The site was designated as California Historical Landmark #56 in 1932, as with all historical units of the National Park Service, Cabrillo was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 15,1966. The annual Cabrillo Festival Open House is held on a Sunday each October and it commemorates Cabrillo with a reenactment of his landing at Ballast Point, in San Diego Bay. The park offers a view of San Diegos harbor and skyline, as well as Coronado, on clear days, a wide expanse of the Pacific Ocean and Mexicos Coronado Islands are visible. A visitor center screens a film about Cabrillos voyage and has exhibits about the expedition, the Old Point Loma Lighthouse is the highest point in the park and has been a San Diego icon since 1855.
The lighthouse was closed in 1891, and a new one opened at an elevation, because fog. The old lighthouse is now a museum, and visitors may enter it, the area encompassed by the national monument includes various former military installations, such as coastal artillery batteries, built to protect the harbor of San Diego from enemy warships. Many of these installations can be seen walking around the area. A former army building hosts an exhibit that tells the story of history at Point Loma. The area near the monument entrance was used for gliding activities in 1929-1935. Even Charles Lindbergh soared in a Bowlus sailplane along the cliffs of Point Loma in 1930, markers for these accomplishments can be found near the entrance, and the site is recognized as a National Soaring Landmark by the National Soaring Museum. On October 14,1913, by proclamation, Woodrow Wilson reserved 0.5 acres of Fort Rosecrans for The Order of Panama. To construct a statue of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo. In 1939 the Portuguese government commissioned a statue of Cabrillo.
The sandstone statue, executed by sculptor Alvaro de Bree, is 14 feet tall, the statue was intended for the Golden Gate International Exposition in San Francisco but arrived too late and was stored in an Oakland, California garage. Then-State Senator Ed Fletcher managed to obtain the statue in 1940 over the objections of Bay Area officials and it was stored for several years on the grounds of the Naval Training Center San Diego, out of public view, and was finally installed at Cabrillo Monument in 1949. The sandstone statue suffered severe weathering because of its position and was replaced in 1988 by a replica made of limestone
An oak is a tree or shrub in the genus Quercus of the beech family, Fagaceae. There are approximately 600 extant species of oaks, the common name oak appears in the names of species in related genera, notably Lithocarpus, as well as in those of unrelated species such as Grevillea robusta and the Casuarinaceae. North America contains the largest number of oak species, with approximately 90 occurring in the United States, the second greatest center of oak diversity is China, which contains approximately 100 species. Oaks have spirally arranged leaves, with lobate margins in many species, the acorns contain tannic acid, as do the leaves, which helps to guard from fungi and insects. Many deciduous species are marcescent, not dropping dead leaves until spring, in spring, a single oak tree produces both male flowers and small female flowers. The fruit is a nut called an acorn, borne in a structure known as a cupule, each acorn contains one seed and takes 6–18 months to mature. The live oaks are distinguished for being evergreen, but are not actually a distinct group, the oak tree is a flowering plant.
Oaks may be divided into two genera and a number of sections, The genus Quercus is divided into the following sections, the white oaks of Europe and North America. Styles are short, acorns mature in 6 months and taste sweet or slightly bitter, the leaves mostly lack a bristle on their lobe tips, which are usually rounded. The type species is Quercus robur, Hungarian oak and its relatives of Europe and Asia. Styles long, acorns mature in about 6 months and taste bitter, the section Mesobalanus is closely related to section Quercus and sometimes included in it. Cerris, the Turkey oak and its relatives of Europe and Asia, styles long, acorn mature in 18 months and taste very bitter. The inside of the shell is hairless. Its leaves typically have sharp tips, with bristles at the lobe tip. Protobalanus, the live oak and its relatives, in southwest United States. Styles short, acorns mature in 18 months and taste very bitter, the inside of the acorn shell appears woolly. Leaves typically have sharp tips, with bristles at the lobe tip.
Lobatae, the red oaks of North America, Central America, styles long, acorns mature in 18 months and taste very bitter
Channel Islands National Park
Channel Islands National Park is a United States national park that consists of five of the eight Channel Islands off the coast of the U. S. state of California, in the Pacific Ocean. Although the islands are close to the shore of densely populated Southern California, the park covers 249,561 acres of which 79,019 acres are owned by the federal government. The Nature Conservancy owns and manages 76% of Santa Cruz Island, Channel Islands National Park is home to a wide variety of significant natural and cultural resources. It was designated a U. S. National Monument on April 26,1938, and it was promoted to a National Park on March 5,1980. Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary encompasses the waters six nautical miles around Channel Islands National Park, the Channel Islands were originally discovered in 1542 by the explorer Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo. In 1938 the Santa Barbara and Anacapa islands were designated a national monument, San Miguel, Santa Rosa and Santa Cruz islands were combined with the monument in 1980 to form modern-day Channel Islands National Park.
On January 28,1969 an oil rig belonging to Union Oil experienced a blow-out 6 miles off the coast of California, the resulting spill was, at the time, the largest oil spill to occur in United States territorial waters. Following the spill, tides carried the oil onto the beaches of the Anacapa, San Miguel, Santa Rosa and this spill had a large impact on native wildlife of the Channel Islands. Much of the seabird population was affected, with over an estimated 3,600 avians killed. Meanwhile, seals and other sea life died and washed ashore on both the islands and the mainland and this spill is the third largest oil spill in the United States, only surpassed by the Deepwater Horizon and the Exxon Valdez oil spills. It resulted in a 34,000 acres expansion of the Department of the Interior buffer zone in the channel, the islands within the park extend along the Southern California coast from Point Conception near Santa Barbara to San Pedro, a neighborhood of Los Angeles. Park headquarters and the Robert J.
Lagomarsino Visitor Center are located in the city of Ventura, only three mammals are endemic to the islands, one of which is the deer mouse which is known to carry the sin nombre hantavirus. The spotted skunk and Channel Islands fox are endemic, the island fence lizard is endemic to the Channel Islands. One hundred and forty-five of these species are unique to the islands, Marine life ranges from microscopic plankton to the endangered blue whale, the largest animal on earth. Archeological and cultural resources span a period of more than 10,000 years, the average annual visitation to the parks mainland visitor center was around 300,000 in the period from 2007 to 2016, with 364,807 visiting in 2016. The visitor center is located in the Ventura Harbor Village, the visitor center contains several exhibits that provide information regarding all five islands, native vegetation, marine life and cultural history. Also, visitors can enjoy a film, free of charge. The visitor center is open day, except Thanksgiving and Christmas, from 8, 30AM–5
The pintail or northern pintail is a duck with wide geographic distribution that breeds in the northern areas of Europe and North America. It is migratory and winters south of its range to the equator. Unusually for a bird with such a range, it has no geographical subspecies if the possibly conspecific duck Eatons pintail is considered to be a separate species. This is a duck, and the males long central tail feathers give rise to the species English. Both sexes have blue-grey bills and grey legs and feet, the drake is more striking, having a thin white stripe running from the back of its chocolate-coloured head down its neck to its mostly white undercarriage. The drake has attractive grey and black patterning on its back, the hens plumage is more subtle and subdued, with drab brown feathers similar to those of other female dabbling ducks. Hens make a coarse quack and the drakes a flute-like whistle, the northern pintail is a bird of open wetlands which nests on the ground, often some distance from water.
It feeds by dabbling for plant food and adds small invertebrates to its diet during the nesting season and it is highly gregarious when not breeding, forming large mixed flocks with other species of duck. This ducks population is affected by predators and avian diseases, human activities, such as agriculture and fishing, have had a significant impact on numbers. Nevertheless, owed to the range and large population of this species. This species was first described by Linnaeus in his Systema naturae in 1758 as Anas acuta, within the large dabbling duck genus Anas, the northern pintails closest relatives are other pintails, such as the yellow-billed pintail and Eatons pintail. The pintails are sometimes separated in the genus Dafila, an arrangement supported by morphological, the famous British ornithologist Sir Peter Scott gave this name to his daughter, the artist Dafila Scott. Eatons pintail has two subspecies, A. e. eatoni of Kerguelen Islands, and A. e. drygalskyi of Crozet Islands, sexual dimorphism is much less marked in the southern pintails, with the males breeding appearance being similar to the female plumage.
Unusually for a species such a large range, northern pintail has no geographical subspecies if Eatons pintail is treated as a separate species. A claimed extinct subspecies from Manra Island, Tristrams pintail, A. a. modesta, the northern pintail is a fairly large duck with a wing chord of 23. 6–28.2 cm and wingspan of 80–95 cm. The male is 59–76 cm in length and weighs 450–1,360 g, and therefore is larger than the female. The northern pintail broadly overlaps in size with the mallard, but is more slender and gracile, with a relatively longer neck. The unmistakable breeding plumaged male has a head and white breast with a white stripe extending up the side of the neck
Most species are known as willow, but some narrow-leaved shrub species are called osier, and some broader-leaved species are referred to as sallow. Some willows are low-growing or creeping shrubs, for example, the dwarf willow rarely exceeds 6 cm in height, though it spreads widely across the ground. Willows all have abundant watery bark sap, which is charged with salicylic acid, usually pliant, tough wood, slender branches. The roots are remarkable for their toughness and tenacity to life, the leaves are typically elongated, but may be round to oval, frequently with serrated edges. Most species are deciduous, semievergreen willows with coriaceous leaves are rare, e. g. Salix micans, all the buds are lateral, no absolutely terminal bud is ever formed. The buds are covered by a single scale, the bud scale is fused into a cap-like shape, but in some species it wraps around and the edges overlap. The leaves are simple, feather-veined, and typically linear-lanceolate, usually they are serrate, rounded at base, acute or acuminate.
The leaf petioles are short, the often very conspicuous, resembling tiny, round leaves. On some species, they are small, inconspicuous, in color, the leaves show a great variety of greens, ranging from yellowish to bluish. Willows are dioecious, with male and female flowers appearing as catkins on separate plants and this scale is square and very hairy. The anthers are rose-colored in the bud, but orange or purple after the flower opens, they are two-celled, the filaments are threadlike, usually pale brown, and often bald. The ovary is one-celled, the style two-lobed, and the ovules numerous, almost all willows take root very readily from cuttings or where broken branches lie on the ground. The few exceptions include the willow and peachleaf willow. One famous example of such growth from cuttings involves the poet Alexander Pope and this twig was planted and thrived, and legend has it that all of Englands weeping willows are descended from this first one. Willows are often planted on the borders of streams so their interlacing roots may protect the bank against the action of the water, the roots are much larger than the stem which grows from them.
Willows are very cross-compatible, and numerous hybrids occur, both naturally and in cultivation, a well-known ornamental example is the weeping willow, which is a hybrid of Peking willow from China and white willow from Europe. The hybrid cultivar Boydii has gained the Royal Horticultural Societys Award of Garden Merit, Willows are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species, such as the mourning cloak butterfly. Ants, such as ants, are common on willows inhabited by aphids, coming to collect aphid honeydew
San Joaquin River
The San Joaquin River /ˈsæn wɑːˈkiːn/ is the longest river of Central California in the United States. An important source of water as well as a wildlife corridor. People have inhabited the San Joaquin Valley for more than 8,000 years, the newcomers quickly appropriated the rich natural and hydrologic resources of the watershed for use in farms and cities, but found themselves plagued by flood and drought. Because of the topography of the San Joaquin Valley, floods once transformed much of the lower river into a huge inland sea. In the 20th century, many levees and dams were built on the San Joaquin and these engineering works changed the fluctuating nature of the river forever, and cut off the Tulare Basin from the rest of the San Joaquin watershed. The river was called many different names, at different parts of the river were known by different names. The present name of the dates to 1805–1808, when Spanish explorer Gabriel Moraga was surveying east from Mission San José in order to find possible sites for a mission.
Moraga named a tributary of the river for Saint Joachim, husband of Saint Anne and father of Mary, the name Moraga chose was applied to the entire river, it was in common use by 1810. In the Mono language, the river is called typici h huu, a member of the Pedro Fages party in 1772, Crespis vantage point was the hilltops behind modern San Francisco. Another early name was Rio San Juan Bautista, the origin of which is unknown.8 mi southeast of Mount Lyell, the Middle Fork is usually considered part of the main stem. The South Fork, which begins at Martha Lake in Kings Canyon National Park and flows through Florence Lake, from the mountainous alpine headwaters, the San Joaquin flows generally south into the foothills of the Sierra, passing through four hydroelectric dams. It eventually emerges from the foothills at what was once the town of Millerton, the location of Friant Dam since 1942, which forms Millerton Lake. Below Friant Dam, the San Joaquin flows west-southwest out into the San Joaquin Valley – the southern part of the Great Central Valley – passing north of Fresno, from Mendota, the San Joaquin swings northwest, passing through many different channels, some natural and some man-made.
Northeast of Dos Palos, it is joined by the Fresno. Fifty miles downstream, the Merced River empties into an otherwise dry San Joaquin, the majority of the river flows through quiet agricultural bottomlands, and as a result its meandering course manages to avoid most of the urban areas and cities in the San Joaquin Valley. About 11 mi west of Modesto, the San Joaquin meets its largest tributary, near Vernalis, it is joined by another major tributary, the Stanislaus River. About 40 mi from the mouth, the river draws abreast to the flank of Stockton. From here to the mouth, the river is dredged as part of a navigation project, past the head of tide, amid the many islands of the delta, the San Joaquin is joined by two more tributaries, the Calaveras River and the larger Mokelumne
Death Valley National Park
Death Valley National Park is a national park in the United States. Straddling the border of California and Nevada, located east of the Sierra Nevada, the park protects the northwest corner of the Mojave Desert and contains a diverse desert environment of salt-flats, sand dunes, valleys and mountains. It is the largest national park in the lower 48 states and has declared an International Biosphere Reserve. Approximately 91% of the park is a wilderness area. It is the hottest and lowest of the parks in the United States. The second-lowest point in the Western Hemisphere is in Badwater Basin, the park is home to many species of plants and animals that have adapted to this harsh desert environment. Some examples include creosote bush, bighorn sheep and the Death Valley pupfish, several short-lived boom towns sprang up during the late 19th and early 20th centuries to mine gold and silver. The only long-term profitable ore to be mined was borax, which was transported out of the valley with twenty-mule teams, the valley became the subject of books, radio programs, television series, and movies.
Tourism blossomed in the 1920s, when resorts were built around Stovepipe Wells, Death Valley National Monument was declared in 1933 and the park was substantially expanded and became a national park in 1994. The natural environment of the area has been shaped largely by its geology, the valley itself is actually a graben. The oldest rocks are metamorphosed and at least 1.7 billion years old. Ancient, shallow seas deposited marine sediments until rifting opened the Pacific Ocean, additional sedimentation occurred until a subduction zone formed off the coast. This uplifted the region out of the sea and created a line of volcanoes, the crust started to pull apart, creating the current Basin and Range landform. Valleys filled with sediment and, during the wet times of glacial periods, with lakes, in 2013, Death Valley National Park was designated as a dark sky park by the International Dark-Sky Association. There are two valleys in the park, Death Valley and Panamint Valley. Both of these valleys were formed within the last few million years, the result of this shearing action is additional extension in the central part of Death Valley which causes a slight widening and more subsidence there.
Uplift of surrounding mountain ranges and subsidence of the floor are both occurring. The uplift on the Black Mountains is so fast that the fans there are small
This duck belongs to the subfamily Anatinae of the waterfowl family Anatidae. The male birds have a green head and are grey on wings and belly. Both sexes have an area of white-bordered black speculum feathers which commonly include iridescent blue feathers especially among males, mallards live in wetlands, eat water plants and small animals, and are social animals preferring to congregate in groups or flocks of varying sizes. This species is the ancestor of most breeds of domesticated ducks. The mallard was one of the bird species originally described by Carl Linnaeus in his 18th-century work Systema Naturae. The scientific name is from Latin Anas and Ancient Greek platyrhynchus, Mallard originally referred to any wild drake and it is sometimes still used this way. It was derived from the Old French malart or mallart for wild drake and it may be related to an Old High German masculine proper name Madelhart, clues lying in the alternate English forms maudelard or mawdelard. Masle has proposed as an influence.
This is quite unusual among such different species, and apparently is because the mallard evolved very rapidly and recently, the distinct lineages of this radiation are usually kept separate due to non-overlapping ranges and behavioural cues, but are still not fully genetically incompatible. Mallards and their domesticated conspecifics are fully interfertile, the genome of Anas platyrhynchos was sequenced in 2013. Mallards appear to be closer to their Indo-Pacific relatives than to their American ones judging from biogeography, the large ice age palaeosubspecies which made up at least the European and west Asian populations during the Pleistocene has been named Anas platyrhynchos palaeoboschas. In their mitochondrial DNA, mallards are differentiated between North America and Eurasia, however, in the nuclear genome there is a lack of genetic structure. Haplotypes typical of American mallard relatives and spotbills can be found in mallards around the Bering Sea, the Aleutian Islands hold a population of mallards that appear to be evolving towards a subspecies, as gene flow with other populations is very limited.
The size of the mallard varies clinally, and birds from Greenland and they are sometimes separated as subspecies, the Greenland mallard. The mallard is a waterfowl species although it is often slightly heavier than most other dabbling ducks. It is 50–65 cm long, has a wingspan of 81–98 cm, and weighs 0. 72–1.58 kg. Among standard measurements, the chord is 25.7 to 30.6 cm, the bill is 4.4 to 6.1 cm. The breeding male mallard is unmistakable, with a glossy bottle-green head and white collar which demarcates the head from the purple-tinged brown breast, grey wings
The wood duck or Carolina duck is a species of perching duck found in North America. It is one of the most colorful North American waterfowl, the wood duck is a medium-sized perching duck. A typical adult is from 47 to 54 cm in length with a wingspan of between 66 to 73 cm and this is about three-quarters of the length of an adult mallard. It shares its genus with the Asian Mandarin duck, the adult male has distinctive multicolored iridescent plumage and red eyes, with a distinctive white flare down the neck. The female, less colorful, has a white eye-ring and a whitish throat. The males call is a whistle, the females utter a drawn-out, rising squeal, do weep do weep, when flushed. Their breeding habitat is wooded swamps, shallow lakes, marshes or ponds, and creeks in eastern North America and they usually nest in cavities in trees close to water, although they will take advantage of nesting boxes in wetland locations if available. Females line their nests with feathers and other materials. Unlike most other ducks, the duck has sharp claws for perching in trees and can, in southern regions.
Females typically lay between 7 and 15 white-tan eggs that incubate for an average of 30 days, after hatching, the ducklings jump down from the nest tree and make their way to water. The mother calls them to her, but does not help them in any way and they prefer nesting over water so the young have a soft landing, but will nest up to 140 m away from the shoreline. The day after they hatch, the climb to the nest entrance. The ducklings can swim and find their own food by this time and these birds feed by dabbling or walking on land. They mainly eat berries and seeds, but insects, the birds are year-round residents in parts of its southern range, but the northern populations migrate south for the winter. They overwinter in the southern United States near the Atlantic coast, 75% of the wood ducks in the Pacific Flyway are non-migratory. There is a feral population in Dublin. The population of the duck was in serious decline in the late 19th century as a result of severe habitat loss. By the beginning of the 20th century, wood ducks had disappeared from much of their former range
Redwood National and State Parks
The Redwood National and State Parks are old-growth temperate rainforests located in the United States, along the coast of northern California. Comprising Redwood National Park and Californias Del Norte Coast, Jedediah Smith, and Prairie Creek Redwoods State Parks, the combined RNSP contain 139,000 acres. Located entirely within Del Norte and Humboldt Counties, the four parks, protect 45% of all remaining coast redwood old-growth forests and these trees are the tallest and one of the most massive tree species on Earth. In addition to the forests, the parks preserve other indigenous flora, grassland prairie, cultural resources, portions of rivers and other streams. In 1850, old-growth redwood forest covered more than 2,000,000 acres of the California coast, the northern portion of that area, originally inhabited by Native Americans, attracted many lumbermen and others turned gold miners when a minor gold rush brought them to the region. Failing in efforts to strike it rich in gold, these men turned toward harvesting the giant trees for booming development in San Francisco, after many decades of unrestricted clear-cut logging, serious efforts toward conservation began.
Redwood National Park was created in 1968, by which time nearly 90% of the redwood trees had been logged. The ecosystem of the RNSP preserves a number of threatened species such as the tidewater goby, Chinook salmon, northern spotted owl. Modern day native groups such as the Yurok, Karok and Wiyot all have ties to the region. Archaeological study shows they arrived in the area as far back as 3,000 years ago, an 1852 census determined that the Yurok were the most numerous, with 55 villages and an estimated population of 2,500. They used the abundant redwood, which with its grain was easily split into planks, as a building material for boats, houses. For buildings, the planks would be erected side by side in a trench, with the upper portions bound with leather strapping. Redwood boards were used to form a sloping roof. Previous to Jedediah Smith in 1828, no other explorer of European descent is known to have investigated the inland region away from the immediate coast. The discovery of gold along the Trinity River in 1850 led to a secondary rush in California.
This brought miners into the area and many stayed on at the coast after failing to strike it rich and this quickly led to conflicts wherein native peoples were placed under great strain, if not forcibly removed or massacred. By 1895, only one third of the Yurok in one group of villages remained, by 1919, the miners logged redwoods for building, when this minor gold rush ended, some of them turned again to logging, cutting down the giant redwood trees. Representative John E. Raker, of California, became the first politician to introduce legislation for the creation of a national park
Joshua Tree National Park
Joshua Tree National Park is located in southeastern California. Declared a U. S. National Park in 1994 when the U. S. Congress passed the California Desert Protection Act and it is named for the Joshua trees native to the park. It covers a area of 790,636 acres —an area slightly larger than the state of Rhode Island. A large part of the park, some 429,690 acres, is a wilderness area. The Little San Bernardino Mountains run through the southwest edge of the park, in 1950, the size of the park was reduced by about 265,000 acres to exclude some mining property. The park was elevated to a National Park on 31 October 1994 by the Desert Protection Act, the higher and cooler Mojave Desert is the special habitat of Yucca brevifolia, the Joshua tree for which the park is named. It occurs in patterns from dense forests to distantly spaced specimens, in addition to Joshua tree forests, the western part of the park includes some of the most interesting geologic displays found in Californias deserts. The dominant geologic features of landscape are hills of bare rock.
These hills are popular amongst rock climbing and scrambling enthusiasts, the flatland between these hills is sparsely forested with Joshua trees. Together with the piles and Skull Rock, the trees make the landscape otherworldly. Temperatures are most comfortable in the spring and fall, with an average high/low of 85 and 50 °F respectively, winter brings cooler days, around 60 °F, and freezing nights. It occasionally snows at higher elevations, summers are hot, over 100 °F during the day and not cooling much below 75 °F until the early hours of the morning. Joshua trees dominate the open spaces of the park, but in among the outcroppings are piñon pine, California juniper, Quercus turbinella, Quercus john-tuckeri. These communities are under stress, however, as the climate was wetter until the 1930s, with the same hot. These cycles were nothing new, but the vegetation did not prosper when wetter cycles returned. The difference may have been human development, cattle grazing took out some of the natural cover and made it less resistant to the changes.
But the bigger problem seems to be invasive species, such as cheatgrass, in drier times, they die back, but do not quickly decompose. This makes wildfires hotter and more destructive, which some of the trees that would have otherwise survived
Merced County, California
Merced County, is a county located in the northern San Joaquin Valley section of the Central Valley, in the U. S. state of California. As of the 2010 census, the population was 255,793, the county is named after the Merced River. Merced County comprises the Merced, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is included in the Modesto-Merced and it is located north of Fresno County and Fresno, and southeast of Santa Clara County and San Jose. Parts of its territory were given to Fresno County in 1856, according to the U. S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,979 square miles, of which 1,935 square miles is land and 44 square miles is water. Merced National Wildlife Refuge San Luis National Wildlife Refuge The 2010 United States Census reported that Merced County had a population of 255,793. The racial makeup of Merced County was 148,381 White,9,926 African American,3,473 Native American,18,836 Asian,583 Pacific Islander,62,665 from other races, Hispanic or Latino of any race were 140,485 persons.
As of the census of 2000, there were 210,554 people,63,815 households, the population density was 109 people per square mile. There were 68,373 housing units at a density of 36 per square mile. The racial makeup of the county was 56. 2% White,3. 8% Black or African American,1. 2% Native American,6. 8% Asian,0. 2% Pacific Islander,26. 1% from other races, and 5. 7% from two or more races. 45. 3% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race,6. 6% were of Portuguese and 6. 0% German ancestry according to Census 2000. 55. 1% spoke English,35. 3% Spanish,3. 2% Hmong,2. 9% Portuguese and 1. 0% Punjabi as their first language. 17. 7% of all households were made up of individuals and 7. 4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older, the average household size was 3.25 and the average family size was 3.69. In the county, the population was out with 34. 5% under the age of 18,10. 3% from 18 to 24,27. 9% from 25 to 44,17. 8% from 45 to 64. The median age was 29 years, for every 100 females there were 99.3 males.
For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.6 males, the median income for a household in the county was $35,532, and the median income for a family was $38,009. Males had an income of $31,721 versus $23,911 for females. The per capita income for the county was $14,257, about 16. 9% of families and 21. 7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 28. 4% of those under age 18 and 10. 7% of those age 65 or over. As of 2008, according to the Lao Family Community, a nonprofit organization, Merced County is a general law county, governed by a Board of Supervisors