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Point Reyes: A seashore sanctuary

By: Jaymi Heimbuch on June 18, 2013, 3:50 p.m.
Seals on a beach in Point Reyes

Photo: LisaW123/Flickr

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Seal beach party harem

One species visitors may spot while visiting Point Reyes is a species whose presence underscores the importance of having coastal preserves such as this: the northern elelphant seal. This marine mammal was hunted to near extinction, and indeed was thought extinct for some time. After conservation efforts helped bring its numbers back up, the northern elephant seal began reappearing at its historic breeding sites — including Point Reyes in 1981, after a 150-year absence. This is one of only 11 mainland breeding areas in the world for this species.