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

    Point Reyes

    National Seashore California

Elephant Seal Docents Needed for 2002 Season

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Date: November 1, 2001
Contact: Steve Anastasia, 415-464-5147

Docents of many different ages and backgrounds are helping to protect these marine mammals by educating visitors and providing data on disturbance, population size and behavior. Your time and commitment can help to ensure the protection of these seals and provide rewarding experiences for visitors.

Weighing up to 5,000 pounds, elephant seals are amazing marine mammals. They spend the majority of lives at sea diving up to a mile deep as they forage. The seals return to land for only a few months in the winter for birthing and breeding and again in the summer when molting. During their time on land, elephant seals do not eat for up to 3 months and instead rely on their stored fat for energy.

The first pair of breeding elephant seals returned to Point Reyes in the late 1970’s after over 100 years of absence. The animals for this “new” Point Reyes colony are believed to come from the nearby Año Nuevo and the Farallon Island rookeries.

Currently, the number of elephant seals at Point Reyes National Seashore has topped over 1,700 animals. The seals can be found at the Headlands of the Point Reyes between December and late March during the pupping and breeding season, and in the summer months for molting. Their increasing numbers and the creation of satellite colonies on other beaches in the National Seashore has made visitor education a priority with the Elephant Seal Docent Program. Take this opportunity to become an active steward of Point Reyes National Seashore and the wildlife it protects.

The two-day training will be held at Point Reyes National Seashore on December 1st and 2nd, 2001 from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Volunteers must commit to 2 weekend and holiday days each month from January through March.

For inquiries, please call Steve Anastasia at 415-464-5147.

-NPS-

Did You Know?

Harbor Seal Pup, © Sue Van Der Wal

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...