Seal Pups and traffic

Harbour seals are frequenting the kelp beds regularly with their new pups. I have spotted a half dozen pups so far. Harbour seals (Phoca vitulina) are most often found in estuaries and shallow bays but here in the reserve there are approximately 35 right now. They feed at hide tide and rest during low tide usually somewhere within the south-eastern part of the reserve.

Habour seal with pup

Marine traffic has increased significantly this week. Today, whale watching boats alone exceeded 40 in the reserve and there were around a dozen private boaters as well. In the last post I mentioned the whale tour boats are well mannered though unfortunately speeding between North Race Rocks and Great Race Rocks has become much more common in the past week.

There is a count of 9 elephant seals at the moment, which dropped from 11 earlier in the week. Some, like Misery (our largest male), seem to spend equal time in water and on shore now.

Also, 3 groups of student visitors came out on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday for tours to learn about the reserve, its importance, and to get a peek at the elephant seals. The tours were kept brief as to not disturb the gulls who are still rather anxious to protect their young.