Operational Changes Took Effect on May 1
The Lighthouse Visitor Center is now only open Fridays through Mondays; closed Tuesdays through Thursdays, including Thanksgiving. The Kenneth C. Patrick Visitor Center will be closed through late December, reopening weekends and holidays on December 28. More »
Visitor Center Winter Hours
Visitor Center Winter Hours took effect on Sunday, November 3, 2013. More »
Join Other Wildlife and Outdoor Enthusiasts in the 2007 Elephant Seal Docent Program!
Contact: Melinda Repko, 415-464-5134
With elephant seals returning to Point Reyes National Seashore, volunteer docents are needed to protect the seals and educate the public. Volunteers are required to attend a free two-day training and must agree to work two weekend or holiday days each month, January through April. The two-day training will be held at Point Reyes National Seashore on December 2nd and 3rd, 2006 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Training topics will include marine mammal natural history, new research discoveries and marine ecology.
For inquiries, please call Melinda Repko at 415-464-5134.
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 for 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 FarallonIsland rookeries.
Currently, the number of elephant seals at Point Reyes National Seashore has topped 1,800 animals. Elephant 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.
Did You Know?
Even if California and the West gets more rainfall with global warming, earlier snow melt and hotter summers will likely produce more drought stress, increasing susceptibility to pathogens and invasive species. More...