Elephant Seal Colony

elephantsealhike: Students observing Elephant Seals in the Piedras Blancas colony on the San Simeon coast.

The elephant seal field trip, available throughout the KEEP Cambria season, is a spectacular opportunity for students to observe Piedras Blancas elephant seal colony. On a single stretch of beach, students see the daily behaviors of hundreds of seals. They include territorial posturing and fighting, birthing of pups, nursing, mating and molting. Students learn about these amazing creatures from our naturalist staff and have the opportunity to ask questions of the Friends Of the Elephant Seals docents present at the viewing area.

We consider ourselves very fortunate to have the opportunity to see these amazing and highly specialized animals. The pioneers of our local colony first appeared on November 25, 1990. Less than two dozen elephant seals were counted in the small cove just south of the Piedras Blancas lighthouse. In January of 1992 the first birth occurred. In 1993, about 50 pups were born. By 1996 the number of pups born soared to almost 1000 and the colony stretched all the way to the beaches that run along the Coast Highway. Now, approximately 17,000 seals call this colony home.

Click here to visit the Elephant Seal LiveCam run jointly by Friends of the Elephant Seals and State Parks. (Requires Adobe Flash)


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