Lighthouse Will Be Closed for Seismic Retrofit April 7 through May 16
The Lighthouse is undergoing a Seismic retrofit and will be closed from April 7 - May 16. Visitors can still access the Assistant Keepers Quarters exhibit from the south door, Lighthouse Comfort Station, and Kelp Forest Overlook. Call 619-557-5450.
Visitor Center Scheduled to be Closed May 19 through June 16
The Visitor Center will be undergoing a Seismic Retrofit and will be closed. Visitors will still be able to access the Auditorium, Ballast View and the East Patio. These dates are subject to change. Please call 619 557-5450 for updated information
Reptiles and Amphibians
The coastal scrub habitat at Cabrillo National Monument makes a good home for the many reptiles and amphibians that live here. The striped racer and San Diego gopher snake are two of the most commonly seen snakes in the park, and can frequently be encountered on the Bayside Trail. The Pacific rattlesnake also makes Cabrillo National Monument its home, and can be seen sunning itself on sidewalks and barrier walls on warm spring days. The ring-necked snake is small and secretive and seldom seen on Point Loma, but is a visual treat if observed: its underside ranges from bright yellow-orange to red.
Two of the most commonly observed lizards on Point Loma are the western fence lizard and the side-blotched lizard. Both species are very active during daylight hours during all seasons, and are seen along trails, sidewalks, and roadways and in buildings.
Once considered limited on the coast, the orange-throated whiptail is more common than previously thought. The tail tips of juveniles are bright blue, and males develop a striking orange throat color during breeding season, giving the species its name.
Resembling a snake, the California legless lizard spends its life burrowing through sand and soil and is seldom seen aboveground. It is the only local lizard species that gives birth to two live young.
Alligator lizards are often seen on trails in early morning or late afternoon in the spring. Their name comes from both their body shape and their aggressive disposition: if handled, they will attempt to – and will painfully – bite.
The single amphibian on Point Loma is the garden slender salamander, which very much resembles a large earthworm. They are most active on wet winter nights, and disappear during the rest of the year, probably living underground along plant roots. Although highly sensitive to drying, they will drown rapidly if placed in water: lungless, they breathe through their skin.
Did You Know?
Did you know that delicate-looking tidepool creatures at Cabrillo National Monument are actually very hardy, and have adapted well to harsh conditions of pounding surf, intermittent exposure to sun and drying wind, and sharp changes in temperature and salinity?