Return of Elephant Seals to Point Reyes National Seashore Prompts Temporary Beach Closure for Winter 2006
Contact: John Dell'Osso, 415-464-5135
Superintendent Don Neubacher announced today that elephant seals have returned to pup and breed on the beaches of Point Reyes National Seashore. Due to the presence of the seals, a temporary restriction to people and dogs is in place until the end of April from the South Beach parking lot, south. A temporary restriction at the far southern end of Drakes Beach is also in place.
This is only a temporary closure for the protection of elephant seals during the breeding and pupping season. As of this date, approximately 260 pregnant females have arrived at the Seashore and over 90 pups have already been born. The total population during the winter breeding season over the past several years is over 1,000 animals. The best viewing area for elephant seals is the overlook near the Chimney Rock parking lot. The elephant seals can be viewed from now until April at which time the pups are weaned from their mothers and head out to sea. The viewing area for elephant seals is along the Elephant Seal Overlook Trail recently rehabilitated with financial assistance from the California Coastal Conservancy and Point Reyes National Seashore Association.
The annual shuttle bus program is currently in operation. Operating only on weekends and holidays until early April, the popular shuttle bus program runs from Drakes Beach to the Lighthouse and then on to Chimney Rock before returning to Drakes Beach. Park visitors need to purchase tickets at Drakes Beach on the day you intend to ride the buses from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. No advance reservations are required. The price is $5.00 for adults and children under 16 are free.
Dogs will still be allowed on leash at North Beach, Kehoe Beach, and the southern portion of Limantour Beach.