Are there seals in San Francisco Bay?
Harbor seals (Phoca vitulina richardii) are one of six pinniped species found in the San Francisco Bay Area. Unlike elephant seals, harbor seals are present year-round. Their population provides valuable insights into the condition of marine and coastal ecosystems.
Are the sea lions still at Pier 39?
By January 1990 due to a plentiful supply of herring, the protected marina environment and available dock space, the number of sea lions quickly grew to over 300. Today, the sea lions are present at Pier 39 from late summer (late July) to late spring (mid May) and there are typically 150 to over 600 hauled out.
Does San Francisco have seals or sea lions?
When you think of San Francisco icons, the sea lions are up there with the Golden Gate Bridge. They are one of the reasons why PIER 39 is the top attraction in San Francisco. On a typical day, you can find them lounging in the sun or piled on top of each other on K-Dock in PIER 39’s West Marina.
Where are the harbor seals in the bay area?
Point Reyes National Seashore
Of more than 30 marine mammals known to visit Point Reyes National Seashore and the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, harbor seals are the only year-round residents, and are also the most numerous and widespread. In fact, Point Reyes is home to the highest concentration of harbor seals in mainland California.
Where are the elephant seals in San Francisco?
One is located at Año Nuevo State Park along the San Mateo Coast south of San Francisco. The other is Hearst-San Simeon State Park and the elephant seal vista point located about 5 miles north of Hearst Castle along the coast of San Luis Obispo County.
Can you see sea lions in Sausalito?
Marine Mammal Center, Sausalito You can visit this spot in the Marin Headlands (for free!) and learn about what the MMC is doing to rescue sick and injured animals.
What happened to the seals at Fisherman’s Wharf?
The blubbery sea lions at Pier 39, one of San Francisco’s smelliest and most famous tourist attractions, are gone. During the last week of November, they left the wooden docks on which they’ve spent the last 20 years and no one knows if they’ll be coming back.
Why do seals like pier39?
The Marine Mammal Center’s biologists believe that the sea lions have chosen to haul out at PIER 39’s K-Dock because there’s plenty of food nearby in the bay and ocean, their natural predators (white sharks and orcas) do not typically feed in the bay and there is plenty of space.
Why are there seals at PIER 39?
Why are the sea lions here? The Marine Mammal Center’s biologists believe that the sea lions have chosen to haul out at PIER 39’s K-Dock because there’s plenty of food nearby in the bay and ocean, their natural predators (white sharks and orcas) do not typically feed in the bay and there is plenty of space.
What do harbor seal eat?
The harbor seal’s diet consists mainly of fish, shellfish, and crustaceans. Harbor seals complete both shallow and deep dives while hunting, depending on the availability of prey. They can sleep underwater and come up for air once every 30 minutes.
What are harbor seal predators?
White sharks are the primary marine predator of harbor seals, but occasionally other large sharks and killer whales eat them. Terrestrial predators such as coyotes and bobcats can also occasionally prey on harbor seals resting onshore, particularly pups that are very young.
Where can I see elephant seals in Northern California?
What kind of seals live in San Francisco?
In San Francisco, ~40% of harbor seals have ‘rust’ colored fur resulting from deposited iron oxide on their hair shafts. California sea lions are the most commonly sighted sea lion on our trip. Sea lions are members of a group called the eared seals because they have external ear flaps, unlike other seals that just have a hole.
When do harbor seals leave San Francisco Bay?
Harbor seals may also abandon a haul-out site permanently, as they did at historic sites in San Francisco Bay, due to high and chronic incidences of human disturbance. March through July, the pupping and molting seasons, is an especially vulnerable time for harbor seals.
Where are the most harbor seals in California?
Point Reyes has the largest population of harbor seals in California, excluding the Channel Islands, with twenty percent of state’s harbor seals living or breeding within the park’s boundaries.
Why are harbor seals important to Point Reyes?
Apex predators are often used as an indication of the condition of their ecosystem because they can’t do well unless all of the organisms within their habitat are doing well. Point Reyes has been using the harbor seal as one of the indicators of the condition of the area’s marine systems.