The harbor seal pups are being born at the Reserve, and it’s up to visitors to help keep them safe. If you see orange cones, avoid those areas since seals and pups may be hauled out there to get warm. If you see a seal pup on its own, leave it alone. If you think a harbor seal is in distress, call the Rangers or the Marine Mammal Center at the phone numbers below.
The March, 2013 issue of FFMR’s newsletter, “Between the Tides” reports: During the spring at FMR Rangers and Naturalists keep an eye out for harbor seal pups. Some of the pups can arrive early in the year, but peak pupping season is late April to early May. By the end of January this year we already had 2 newborn harbor seals.
This is a vulnerable time for harbor seals who are nursing their young. Recently there have been reports of flushing (return of seals to the water due to disturbance) both at Nye’s Rocks and at the haulout area at Cypress Point. Too few orange cones (indicating areas to stay away from) have been put out and it is sometimes difficult for visitors to understand which areas are designated as restricted. And seals blend in so well with the rocky reefs and beaches that some visitors have not noticed they are approaching a seal until they are too close.
Please do your utmost to aid these creatures who faithfully honor our Reserve with their presence. We can all act as good stewards by helping to educate the public about safe distances from which to observe the seals in all sea- sons. By doing our part we can keep Fitzgerald a safe place where seals can thrive and use the protected coves as nurseries for their young.
Please report any disturbance of harbor seals to Park Rangers. Above all, don’t attempt to rescue a seemingly abandoned pup. The mother may be out foraging for food. To report sick or abandoned pups please contact:
Park Rangers: 650-728-3594
Marine Mammal Center: 415-289-7350
At FMR, the relatively small (under 150 lbs) and shy harbor seals rule the beach when they come ashore to rest during low tides. Due to their federally protected status as marine mammals, humans are required to stay at least 100 yards away from their resting areas. Depending on where seals opt to haul out, large swaths of the tidepools may be inaccessible to visitors.Read More»