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 »
Elephant Seal Docents Needed for 2003 Season
Contact: Steve Anastasia, 415-464-5147
Join other wildlife and outdoor enthusiasts to protect northern elephant seals!
Docents of many different ages and backgrounds are needed to protect elephant seals. Through education and observation, volunteers to the Elephant Seal Docent Program are helping to ensure the protection of these seals and providing 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 7th and 8th, 2002 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.
Did You Know?
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...