Photo courtesy of the U. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Fireworks and beach parties cause pups to be abandoned every year. Harbor seal haulouts are full of pregnant females and newborn pups in South Puget Sound and pups can be found all along the Washington coastline and inland waterways.
Harbor seals also use jetties, breakwaters and log booms for haulouts. Please stay a minimum of yards away from resting seals. Pups pay a terrible price for human disturbance. The pup shown above was found instarving on Cutts Island, along with two other emaciated pups and several dead ones.
All had been abandoned by their mothers because boaters disrupted the seal colony on this small island near Gig Harbor.
A day of boating fun for people can be a death sentence for seal pups. This past weekend, Boy Scout Troop along with WDFW staff posted warning signs on Cutts and surrounding beaches that seals are protected by Federal law and to stay back.
If you find a spot for your picnic on a beach near a harbor seal, please move your picnic to another beach. There are reports of people with blankets and coolers surrounding a lone seal pup - finally calling the stranding network wondering why the mother did not return.
A harbor seal mom, shy and wary of humans, will abandon her pup if people and dogs are around! Use common sense and help protect wildlife from harassment. If you are boating or kayaking, please stay far away from resting harbor seals.
In the photo below, you can see the boat scaring hundreds of seals from the beach, including pregnant females and many newborn pups. A female was giving birth right at that very moment and, terrified, she left her newborn pup, still in a bloody birth sac, alone on the deserted beach.
The mom had no time to memorize the scent or call of her pup, which often leads to abandonment. Thankfully, a full 20 minutes after the boat left with the people onboard laughing, the mom returned to nurse her pup. More often than not, that pup would have been abandoned and slowly starved to death.
It is not a laughing matter to harass seals. It is a matter of life and death for seal pups. This Federal law also prohibits touching, moving and feeding seal pups. Do not approach animals by boat or by land. Please, be respectful and move your party elsewhere.
Boat launches and docks can have newborn or weaned pups sleeping on them or nearby, often in danger from propeller strikes or being run over by boat trailers.
In some coastal areas, people are allowed to drive vehicles on the beach itself. On July 4th weekend ina pup was run over and killed on the beach at Ocean Shores - other animals, sick or weak and unable to move quickly, have been run over on beaches at Westport California sea lion pupLong Beach Peninsula California sea lionand Twin Harbors adult harbor seal at different times of the year.
Please immediately report any pup or adult that is at a dangerous location or being harassed to your local stranding network. Please be aware of your surroundings and give animals a break this holiday.
Respect that harbor seals need to rest and nurse. Celebrate responsibly and you just might save the life of a seal pup.Harbor Seals of Glacier Bay Learn about the fascinating harbor seal research taking place in Glacier Bay National Park.
Join local middle school students in a question . Fur Seal Bibliography Database This online bibliography is based on a publication which lists northern fur seal (Callorhinus ursinus) literature available up to that time. Additional northern fur seal citations, literature, and related archival information are available in the Marine Mammal Library's Northern Fur Seal Archive and the.
Harbor Seals Harbor seals are marine mammals that have spotted coats in a variety of shades from silver gray, black to dark brown. They reach 5 to 6 feet in length and weigh up to pounds.
When I was a young girl living in Harwich, Massachusetts, at the elbow of Cape Cod, I would often bike to Wychmere Harbor on the weekends to go boating or scuba diving with my dad. Harbor seals are the smallest of California pinnipeds, with spotted fur and colorization that varies from white to dark brown.
They tend to stay near the shore, in subtidal and intertidal zones, and can often be seen on floating docks or sheltered beaches. Along the way, you're sure to encounter some of the local harbor seals, which inhabit rocky ledges and other hard-to-reach nooks and crannies. Seal pups are usually born in May, making early summer an ideal time to witness the youngsters learning to swim and fish.