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 »
Entangled Elephant Seal Freed after Two Years
Contact: John A. Dell’Osso, 415-464-5135
Recently, staffs from Point Reyes National Seashore and The Marine Mammal Center (TMMC) were able to catch an elusive northern elephant seal who, for over two years, has been seen with a strap entangled around its neck. The seal has been eluding biologists who have been trying to sedate the seal and remove the strap which was digging into its neck since at least 2009.
The large subadult male seal (estimated to be between 700-1,000 lbs.) is approximately five years old. In order to remove the thick white packing strap that was wrapped tightly around his neck, the seal was first approached and sedated, then had his head covered with a towel to calm him down, then veterinarian staff from TMMC located the strap, buried deeply in a wound on the seal's neck and removed it. Finally, the area around the neck was cleaned and the animal quickly returned to the ocean.
In 2004, a female elephant seal at Point Reyes had a similar situation occur but that strap was quickly removed from the seal. She has since been coming back to Point Reyes each year and giving birth to seal pups.
There are currently over 700 elephant seals on the beaches at Point Reyes National Seashore and approximately 220 pups have already been born. Last year, over 600 pups were born on Point Reyes' beaches.
(Images available upon request)
Did You Know?
Deathcap mushrooms are found throughout the Point Reyes region and are the most poisonous mushrooms in the world. But they're fairly new arrivals here. They invaded the San Francisco Bay Area in the late 1930s, likely brought over on cork trees from Europe for the wine industry. More...