Return of Elephant Seals to Point Reyes National Seashore Prompts Temporary Beach Closure for Winter 2003
Contact: John Dell'Osso, 415-464-5135
Superintendent Don Neubacher announced today that elephant seals have returned to the beaches of Point Reyes National Seashore. Due to the return of the seals, a temporary restriction to people and dogs is in place until the end of April from the South Beach parking lot, south.
This is only a temporary closure for the protection of elephant seals during the breeding and pupping season. As of this date, 60 pregnant females have arrived at the Seashore and approximately 20 pups have already been born. The total population over the past several years for Point Reyes is 1,500 animals. The best viewing area for elephant seals is the overlook near the Chimney Rock parking lot. The elephant seals can be viewed from now until April at which time the pups are weaned from their mothers and head out to sea.
The annual shuttle bus program is currently in operation. Operating only on weekends and holidays until early April, the popular shuttle bus program runs from Drakes Beach to the Lighthouse and then on to Chimney Rock before returning to Drakes Beach. Park visitors need to purchase tickets at Drakes Beach on the day you intend to ride the buses from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. No advance reservations are required. The price is $4.oo for adults and children under 12 are free.
Dogs will still be allowed on leash at North Beach, Kehoe Beach, and the southern portion of Limantour Beach.
Did You Know?
Marine biologists have identified nearly a third of all known marine mammal species in the waters surrounding Point Reyes. Blue whales and humpback whales feed here during spring and summer months. Gray whales migrate past our shores twice a year on their round trip from Alaska to Baja. More...