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. The sexes haul out at different times of the year to molt. With the recovery of the northern elephant seal population, increasing numbers of elephant seals congregate on local beaches where visitors see them give birth, mate, molt and snooze. Northern elephant seals were once thought to be extinct due to commercial sealing in the 1800s. Humans aren't the only ones that are attracted to the California coastline, Northern Elephant Seals migrate thousands of miles to these beaches twice a year to breed, give birth, molt and rest. Be responsible when viewing marine life in the wild. Females come ashore and within a few days give birth to a pup conceived in the previous breeding season. We highlight just a few aspects of an unusual lifestyle that involves very specific ways of utilizing food and space resources. Photo: NOAA Fisheries/Tony Orr. Elephant seal pups begin their first migration in the Pacific Ocean, learning to navigate and dive without any parental instruction. The elephant seal tagging efforts to date have provided a detailed understanding of their movement patterns, unparalleled among open-ocean species. Implantation does not occur until after the female has already been out at-sea for a few months. Elephant seals migrate in search of food, spending months at sea and often diving deep to forage. Northern elephant seals have a diet of mostly squid and fishes, but also rays and sharks. During the winter months they migrate north to South America. Vessel strikes, There is a notable difference in lifespan between males and females. With the recovery of the northern elephant seal population, increasing numbers of elephant seals congregate on local beaches where visitors see them give birth, mate, molt and snooze. Minimizing harassment and illegal feeding. Breeding and pupping season is in the winter, molting occurs in segregated groups in spring and summer, and the juveniles show up in the fall. Adult males use their large, inflatable noses during the winter breeding season to resonate sound when vocally threatening each other. Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License - Version 3.0. By studying the movement patterns of the elephant seals with ocean environmental data, new insights of the physical and biological factors driving the migration of can be attained. Now about 17,000 elephant seals call this beach their home. So you don't have to be a biologist to be involved in animal research or conservation efforts. The best place to see elephant seals in the park is at Chimney Rock, which is a 45-minute drive from the Bear Valley Visitor Center (see map). NOAA Fisheries is working to better understand and characterize the frequency, geographic extent, and magnitude of these interactions. This species will haul out during molting season and may stay in the same area for weeks at a time. Under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, an unusual mortality event (UME) is defined as "a stranding that is unexpected; involves a significant die-off of any marine mammal population; and demands immediate response." The cephalopods include mid- and deep-dwelling squid and octopus, the fishes include deeper and bottom-dwelling fishes such as Pacific hake (Merluccious productus), and mid-water crabs such as tuna crabs. Pacific harbor seal Phoca vitulina. [These tiny swimmers may stir the sea.] Welcome to our website for all Northern Elephant ___ mammal that travels nearly 21000 km during migration . (scroll down to "Northern Elephant Seals"). Northern elephant seals can get entangled in fishing gear, causing injury and possibly death. It’s a short walk from the Chimney Rock parking lot to the elephant seal overlook. Docents and the information they share will enrich your viewing experience. The northern elephant seal is the largest of the “true” seal in the Northern Hemisphere. “This was the first time that a map had ever connected me to the life of an individual animal,” Uberti says. The next spring, more than 400 seals were counted. The summer months they migrate to the south of Antarctica. Polar-orbiting satellites like the ARGOS satellite orbit the Earth in about 90 minutes. Sensors collect data as an animal swims and dives along its migration path. This information helps to determine the environmental variables that are important in determining where these animals forage. NOAA Fisheries is committed to protecting northern elephant seals. When stranded animals are found dead—as is usually the case—our scientists work to understand and investigate the cause of death. Males do not fight during the molt. 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