Nicole Marie Teutschel at Long Marine Lab, CA--Elephant Seal Homecoming Days is here! TOPP is celebrating the northern elephant seal migration back to Año Nuevo State Reserve with Elephant Seal Homecoming Days. Homecoming days is an interactive online education and outreach event that takes place each winter. This year, TOPP.org is featuring 15 satellite tagged northern elephant seals: 10 females and 5 males through blogs, widgets, images, video, educational content, live tracks, facebook pages, and feature stories.
An adult female northern elephant seal wearing a satellite tag in the waters off Año Nuevo State Reserve. All featured seals are wearing satellite tags which relay their location information back to the lab at UC Santa Cruz. Photo: Daniel Costa.
An adult male elephant seal vocalizing off shore. He too is wearing another type of satellite tag deployed by TOPP. Photo: Daniel Costa.
Today the beaches are filling up, and fast! Biologists estimate that 50-100 seals are arriving to the harems everyday. Everywhere you turn, the beach is alive with thousands of elephant seals. Pups being born, loud male fights, pups shrieking for their mothers and the distant sounds of the waves crashing....bringing more E Seals onto the beach after a long, chilly, eight month trip at sea.
Two pups snuggling at Tarsands Central, one of the breeding beaches at Año Nuevo State Reserve. Photo: Nicole Teutschel.
A big adult male elephant seal hauling out, or coming out of the water, returning from his six month foraging trip at sea. Photo: Nicole Teutschel.
A satellite tagged female and her pup. Photo: Nicole Teutschel.
Throughout the breeding season biologists from Dan Costa’s lab will be blogging from the beaches, bringing the E Seal breeding season to TOPP’s online community. Stay tuned for live tracks, stories from researchers in the field, and lots of E Seal science.
TOPP biologist, and UC Santa Cruz doctoral student, Luis Huckstadt searching for tagged seals on a stormy day. Photo: Nicole Teutschel