Mammals

A slender, orange-coated weasel with white patches on its face and a black tail.
A long-tailed weasel (Mustela frenata).

NPS Photo

Point Reyes National Seashore encompasses approximately 71,000 acres of grassland, forest and shoreline along the Pacific coast north of San Francisco. The diversity of habitat is home to 46 species of native land mammals. While driving or hiking through the seashore you are likely to see some of these residents, such as bobcat and the tule elk. The shoreline, that interface between the aquatic and terrestrial environments, provides prime haul-out and breeding sites for several species of seals and sea lions. The adjacent marine waters (which include two National Marine Sanctuaries) support at least 25 species of whales and porpoises that can sometimes be seen from the mainland.

Download the Mammals of Point Reyes National Seashore species list (12 KB PDF, Adobe® Acrobat Reader® may be needed to view the PDF).

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  • A close-up photo of some blonde-haired bats that have large pink ears roosting in a building.

    Bats at Point Reyes

    Bats are the only mammals that are capable of true flight. Thirteen species of bats have been reported at Point Reyes.

  • A black bear taking a step forward in a grassy meadow with a large gray boulder in the background.

    Black Bears at Point Reyes?

    Black bears were an important part of Point Reyes before they were extirpated. Every now and then, one will briefly wander through the area.

  • Two large male elephant seals raise their heads and chests off the beach in preparation of a fight.

    Northern Elephant Seals at Point Reyes

    A few thousand elephant seals return to Point Reyes every year to give birth, mate, and to molt.

  • A gray whale and her calf come to the surface of the ocean and exhale.

    Gray Whales at Point Reyes

    Gray whales delight visitors as they pass by the Point Reyes peninsula during their winter and spring migrations.

  • A few harbor seals lounge on a seaweed and mussel encrusted intertidal rock.

    Harbor Seals at Point Reyes

    Harbor seals are residents of Point Reyes and may be sighted year-round both on land and in the nearshore waters.

  • A small but chubby, brown-furred, tailless rodent runs over grass-covered ground.

    Mountain Beavers at Point Reyes

    The subspecies of mountain beaver found at Point Reyes (Aplodontia rufa phaea) is endemic to the area—that means it is found nowhere else.

  • A brown-furred river otter swimming from right to left.

    Otters at Point Reyes

    Both the North American river otter and the sea otter may be seen at Point Reyes.

  • A bull tule elk flanked by two female elk.

    Tule Elk at Point Reyes

    The tule elk is one of the two subspecies of elk that are native to California and is the only subspecies found at Point Reyes.

Last updated: September 5, 2022

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

1 Bear Valley Road
Point Reyes Station , CA 94956

Phone:

415-464-5100
This number will initially be answered by an automated attendant, from which one can opt to access a name directory, listen to recorded information about the park (i.e., directions to the park; visitor center hours of operation; fire danger information; wildlife updates; ranger-led programs; seasonal events; etc.), or speak with a ranger. Please note that if you are calling between 4:30 pm and 10 am, park staff may not be available to answer your call.

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