Point Reyes Headlands Winter Shuttle Bus System
On weekends & holidays, Sir Francis Drake Boulevard is closed beyond the South Beach Road junction from 9 am to 5:30 pm during favorable weather conditions. Bus service to the Lighthouse & Chimney Rock is provided from Drakes Beach. More »
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 »
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 »
Protecting Sensitive Rail Habitat at the North Levee of the on the Giacomini Ranch
Contact: John Dell'Osso, 415-464-5135
Point Reyes National Seashore will be educating visitors about limiting access to wetlands and sensitive marsh bird and plant species that occur along the Giacomini Ranch levees and adjacent areas during extreme high tide events starting this weekend. Southern Tomales Bay is home to a number of special status species, including the state-listed California black rail, yellow rail, Virginia rail, and, occasionally, the federally listed California clapper rail. There are also several sensitive plant species. The rails use the salt marsh for nesting, winter refuge, and roosting and forage in intertidal flats that are exposed during low tide. During the extreme high tides, these birds, which do not fly well, must seek refuge on high elevation uplands that border salt marshes. In southern Tomales Bay, some of the only high tide refuge available is the thin strip habitat formed by levees of the Giacomini Ranch. During these tides, many of these birds become more vulnerable to predation by species such as herons, egrets, and raptors, particularly if the refuge is unavailable because of the presence of humans or other disturbances. In addition, people walking along the levee during high tides can trample sensitive wetland vegetation, including rare species and can trample protective cover vegetation for the rails.
The Seashore is encouraging birdwatchers and other visitors to limit their access to the very western end of the Giacomini Ranch north levee just west of the concrete spillway. Volunteers will be educating visitors about rails and their life history and the need to protect these species' high tide refuge.
Did You Know?
Elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris)are the largest pinniped with males reaching a maximum of about 5,000 lbs. Harbor seals (Phoca vitulina) are much smaller with both males and females reaching a maximum weight of around 250 lbs. More...