Elephant Seals
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elephant seal calendar

January | February | March | April | May | June

July | August | September | October | November | December

The number of seals at the rookery peaks three times during the year: in late January when most births have occurred, around the first of May at the peak of the juvenile/adult female molt, and in late October during the fall or juvenile haul-out. The annual cycle begins in November with the arrival of mature males at the end of the month.

November (beginning of cycle)

Subadult and juvenile animals, mostly males, are here for the fall haul-out. Mature males begin arriving at the end of the month.

Adult Seals

December

Bulls continue to arrive and fight for dominance over pupping areas. Females begin to arrive. Birthing and breeding begin. The first birth is usually mid-month.

elephant seal birth

January

Females continue to arrive. Birthing numbers peak in the last half of the month.

january elephant seals

February FES

The last births occur as some females are weaning pups born in January, mating and leaving the beach. The peak of mating is around Valentine’s Day.

february elephant seals

March

Last adults leave.  Weaned pups remain onshore and explore nearshore waters. Pups fast for 8-10 weeks.

march elephant seals

April

Females and juveniles begin arriving for the molt. Most young of the year leave at this time.

april elephant seals

May

The peak of the molt is around May 1. By the end of May, females and juveniles have completed the molt and left the beach.

may elephant seals

June FES

Subadult males arrive to begin the molt.

june elephant seals

July

Subadult and adult males continue the molt.

july elephant seals

August

Male molting is completed. The beaches have the fewest seals, but some of the biggest are present.

august elephant seals

September - October

Young-of-the-year and juveniles arrive for the fall haul-out. October marks the third population peak on the beach.

september october seals

FESJanuary | February | March | April | May | June

July | August | September | October | November | December

 

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Photo contributions by Phil Adams, Joan Crowder, Peter Hemming, Brandt Kehoe, Tim Postiff & Nancy McKarney