By Gary Bogue
Wednesday, March 7th, 2007 at 6:49 am in Harbor seals.
The ASPCA Poison Control Center’s Top 10 Calls of 2006 are just below this piece, under March 5, 2007.
Drakes Estero is closed from March 1 through June 30 to protect the harbor seals during this sensitive time of year when they are giving birth.
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. Several hundred seals congregate within the Estero and numerous seals assemble near the mouth of Tomales Bay on tidal sand bars off Dillon Beach.
The closure applies to kayak and canoe usage but is applicable to surfers, windsurfers, abalone divers, and other water sport users around harbor seal colonies in the area. The National Park Service asks park visitors to avoid disturbing seals to ensure a successful pupping season. Research at Point Reyes has demonstrated the harbor seal populations rapidly decline when disturbed during the breeding season.
You can find out a lot more about these interesting marine animals and the beautiful seashore where they live, at the Point Reyes National Seashore Web site at http://www.nps.gov/pore
Even better, pack a picnic lunch and go walk on the beach some Sunday afternoon with someone you care about. There are plenty of spots where you can watch the harbor seals and their pups and the many other marine species that live there. It’s wonderful!
Have you ever seen pelicans diving into the surf after fish? It’s hilarious!