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Harbor Seal (Phoca vitulina)

The beach across from Square Black Rock is a very important site for reproduction of Harbor Seals. In most years 40-60 pups are born on this and adjacent beaches, and the mothers and young spend the next few months in the kelp beds in the reserve. April, May and June are best time to watch the mothers giving birth and teaching their young how to swim and fish in the shallows.

   

 corral beach with seals and pups 4-26-00

 closup of moms and pups

Harbor Seal observations:

There is a mystery about our harbor seals that as yet has no satisfactory answer: You can see seals on the beaches at Big Creek any month except September! For some reason they vacate the beaches during that month, although you can see a few seals in the water. We have noticed this phenomenon every year since 1986, 14 years in a row!

This year (April 2000) was excellent for Harbor Seal reproduction, we counted 62 pups in late April. Seal counts for September 2000 (two counts): Zero.

Nature Notes: April, July, September 1991; February, June, July 1993; May 1994; May 1995; July 1998; July 1999; October 2000,