Operational Changes Took Effect on May 1
The Lighthouse Visitor Center is now only open Fridays through Mondays. The Kenneth C. Patrick Visitor Center will be closed through late December 2013. More »
2013 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 »
Volunteers Wanted for 1999 Harbor Seal Monitoring Program
Contact: Dawn Adams, 415-663-8522 x228
Point Reyes National Seashore has the highest concentration of breeding harbor seals on the California mainland. Park staff have been conducting a long-term monitoring study of the seals since 1976 to assess the health of the population, to identify sources of disturbances, and to protect and preserve these exceptional colonies. During the 1998 El Niño event, we saw large reductions in the number of harbor seal pups born at Point Reyes and we are anxious to see if declines continue this year. The National Park Service would like your help to monitor the population during the “pupping” season.
We would like you to commit to 10 surveys during the season, which is from mid-March through mid-July. We estimate that you will be spending about 8 hours on each survey. This includes the time it takes to drive to and from the Park. Access to colony sites requires hiking 3-6 miles per day. Surveys can be done on weekends or weekdays.
Training begins Thursday February 4th to give you an overview of the natural history of harbor seals. Then we will hike out to the various locations on the following weekends on February 13th, February 27th, March 13th and March 27th for field orientation.
Did You Know?
Harbor seals (Phoca vitulina) are present in the waters of Point Reyes year round. Every spring, approximately 7,000 harbor seals, or 20% of the mainland California breeding population, haul out on the beaches of Point Reyes. Look for them in the esteros and in Tomales Bay and Bolinas Lagoon. More...