The Harbor Seal Pups Are Here

March 28th, 2013

The Harbor Seal Pups Are Here

tinsel_harbor_sealThe 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

New Guide to the Rocky Intertidal

March 23rd, 2013

The LiMPETS program has published its Rocky Intertidal Field Guide for 2012, funded by the Friends of Fitzgerald Marine Reserve.  The photos in the guide are accompanied by notes to help the students and others who are participating in the study identify the marine life being counted.

In case you missed our previous article explaining this program, the acronym stands for: Longterm Monitoring Program and Experiential Training for Students. About 4000 carefully trained students throughout the state are participating in LiMPETS. (Fitzgerald Marine Reserve has been a LiMPETS partner since 2006.) This hands-on program was developed to monitor the coastal ecosystems of California’s national marine sanctuaries to increase awareness and stewardship of these important areas.

March, 2013 – Spring Issue of “Between the Tides”!

March 23rd, 2013

The March, 2013 issue of FFMR’s newsletter “Between the Tides” is now available! Articles include a first-hand account of an encounter with the blue-eyed kelp scallop, a review of the 2012 Field Guide to the Rocky Intertidal from the FFMR-supported LIMPETS program, and a look at the new section of the California Coastal Trail that has just opened at the Reserve.
Between the Tides – Spring, 2013