2010 Harbor Seal Pupping Season at Point Reyes National Seashore
Contact: John Dell'Osso, 415-464-5135
Point Reyes National Seashore has the largest mainland, breeding colony of harbor seals in California. Resting and pupping harbor seals come onshore in various parts of the park particularly in Tomales Bay, Tomales Point, Double Point, Drakes Estero and Bolinas Lagoon. Each year, several thousand seals congregate within the Seashore especially to give birth on the sand bars and remote beaches.
Last year, about 3,500 harbor seals were counted, 1,000 of which were pups. The number of seals breeding at Point Reyes represents around 20% of the California mainland population estimate. The Seashore staff is conducting long-term monitoring to gain further scientific knowledge on this species and to guide management in their protection.
A few species of seabirds roost on Hog Island including brown pelicans and double-crested cormorants, which occur in Tomales Bay during the summer and fall months of the year. They forage on various species of small schooling fish that congregate in Tomales Bay, and cormorants nest on the island in the spring and summer.
Did You Know?
Four species of pinnipeds (seals and sea lions) rest onshore or breed at Point Reyes: the Northern elephant seal (Mirounga angustirostris), the harbor seal (Phoca vitulina), the California sea lion (Zalophus californianus), and the Steller sea lion (Eumetopias jubatus). More...