• The Point Reyes Beach as viewed from the Point Reyes Headlands

    Point Reyes

    National Seashore California

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  • 2014 Harbor Seal Pupping Season Closures

    From March 1 through June 30, the park implements closures of certain Tomales Bay beaches and Drakes Estero to water-based recreation to protect harbor seals during the pupping season. Please avoid disturbing seals to ensure a successful pupping season. More »

  • 2014 Winter Shuttle Bus Operations Have Ended

    March 30, 2014, was the last day for the 2014 Winter Shuttle Bus System. Sir Francis Drake Blvd. is open daily from now through late December 2014. More »

  • Operational Changes Took Effect on May 1, 2013

    The Lighthouse Visitor Center is now only open Fridays through Mondays; closed Tuesdays through Thursdays, including Thanksgiving. The Kenneth C. Patrick Visitor Center is open on weekends and holidays when shuttles are operating. More »

Reptiles

Nature and Science

California red-sided gartersnake (Thamnophis sirtalis infernalis)

Today there are 6,800 reptile species on earth; the major groups are alligators/crocodiles, turtles, lizards, and snakes. All reptiles are cold-blooded, and have bodies covered in dry, horny scales. Some reptiles lay eggs; others give birth to live young. Reptiles are distinguished from amphibians by the presence of scales.



The 14 species of reptiles found at Point Reyes National Seashore are found in a wide variety of habitats. Turtles utilize habitats such as freshwater ponds, streams, drainage ditches, marshes, stock ponds and the open ocean. Lizards occur in almost every habitat except the dampest innermost forest and the tidal salt marsh. Snakes prefer warm and dry environments, therefore the humid environment at Point Reyes limits the population sizes of several species.



View Reptiles of Point Reyes National Seashore species list (15 KB PDF, Adobe® Acrobat Reader® required).



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Did You Know?

Elephant seals at the main colony at Point Reyes

Northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris) began breeding at Point Reyes in 1981 after being absent for over 150 years. The population breeds at terrestrial haul out sites at Point Reyes Headland, one of only eleven mainland breeding areas for northern elephant seals in the world. More...