This website will be providing information about seals and sea lions, and about the documentary in production, "Sentinels of the Sea", as well as other educational programs and media.
La Jolla Harbor Seals and other wildlife:
Sea lions and fur seals are still challenged in 2016 with food supply shortages. UME'S (Unusual Mortality Events) have been noted for sea lions and fur seals along the California coast.
La Jolla is home to a unique colony of harbor seals at Casa Beach. Harbor seals are "true seals", or "phocids", meaning that they have no external ear flaps, have short flippers, and move with an inching motion on land; they are fast and agile in the water. By contrast, sea lions are "eared seals", with external ear flaps, and with large flippers, and they "walk" on land.
Harbor seals need to "haul out" on to a land surface on a daily or regular basis. During the spring, they also give birth, typically to a single pup. At this time, the "haulout site" is also a "rookery site".
It is important to allow the seals and their pups to rest without disturbance. Mothers and pups need to bond without disturbance. This is essential to the survival of the pup.
The 2015-2016 pupping season for harbor seals at Casa Beach is now over. Although the gestation period for harbor seals is between nine and eleven months, the pups only remain with the mother for four to six weeks. During this time, they need to learn about the ocean environment, how to swim and dive, along with other survival skills. They must also develop and maintain a strong bond with the mother, as they need nutrition from the mother that will allow them to gain weight, so that they can be successfully weaned and survive on their own.
A single pup is typically born to a harbor seal mother. She raises it with great care and attention for this four to six week period before it is weaned. Pupping season is between December and May at this latitude. It is later in the year in more northern locations.
The haul out period for harbor seals is necessary for them to rest, thermo-regulate, re-oxygenate their blood, and for additional functions including pup rearing and molting.
As summer approaches, continued access to the haul out site without disturbance is essential for the seals. Newly weaned pups need to rest, and the annual molt also creates a need for time on land.
See more on the seal and sea lion update page on this site.
Please note: video link updates on this site are being updated at this time and new links will be available soon.
The short educational documentary "Seals and Sea Lions" will be available for sale soon; please contact email@example.com for more information. This 25 minute production will provide a brief overview about seals and sea lions, their behavior and biology, and other important and fascinating details.
This is presented by a past acting Executive Director of La Jolla Friends of the Seals and an award winning filmmaker.
See the Documentary page for updates and producer information on the full length feature documentary in production.
The Sierra Club Magazine and Sealwatch.org support the documentary.
Seals and Sea Lions are "Sentinels of the Sea" tm. They are "pinnipeds", marine mammals with fur that must haul out onto land on a regular basis. They have many fascinating behaviors, are highly intelligent, and have special adaptations that allow them to remain underwater for extended periods of time even though they are air breathing animals. They are "indicator" species that provide a reflection or barometer of many ocean and coastal conditions, and of factors affecting the health of these habitats. Many of these factors affect humans as well. Learn more about seals and sea lions as "sentinels" of ocean conditions in this upcoming production "Sentinels of the Sea" nearing completion.
Species from around the world will be featured. Other ocean species will be featured, including manta rays, whale sharks, and more. Many of these species also reflect the impacts of human activity.
Rare and beautiful footage will be included, of playful seals and sea lions underwater, engaged in natural behaviors, and showing mothers and pups on land. The amazing rookery site at Casa beach will be featured, with world class views of mothers and pups. Rare footage of Hawaiian Monk Seals will also be included.
Expert interviews with pinniped specialists, presentations about ecology and conservation challenges, and more, will be presented. This will include the problem of "ghost gear", pollution, plastic marine debris, disturbance and harassment, ocean noise, boat strikes, and entanglement. This documentary is being produced by an award winning filmmaker. See film credits on documentary page. This is a full length feature documentary.
This website will be providing updates about the La Jolla harbor seals, along with documentary updates, educational program opportunities, and updated photos and videos.
A short informational documentary, "Seals and Sea Lions" will be available, providing basic information about several pinniped species, as a concise educational tutorial. Ordering information will be available soon.
Information about the full length feature documentary in production, "Sentinels of the Sea", will be updated with promos and trailers.
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