2018 Pupping Season is Here!
The chain is up and the 2018 harbor seal pupping season has begun at Casa Beach in La Jolla. The sandy beach is closed to the public until May 15, 2018. We encourage everyone to take advantage of this opportunity to come see the seals, undisturbed by people for the next 5 months as they give birth, nurse, and rear their pups. A truly beautiful sight!
It should not be forgotten that the future of the seasonal closure of Casa Beach during the harbor seal pupping season is currently in limbo. As you know, an Orange County Judge struck down the seasonal closure in May of 2016. The ruling by Judge Frederick Horn of the Orange County Superior Court prohibited the City from closing Casa Beach for the purpose of protecting the seal moms and their pups. The Seal Conservancy successfully encouraged the City to appeal this awful judgment. On December 15, 2016, a three-judge appellate panel voted 2-1 to grant the City’s request to temporarily lift the lower court’s order prohibiting the City from closing the beach, while the appeal is under consideration. A final verdict is expected from the Court of Appeals by the summer of 2018.
Be sure to come to La Jolla and enjoy the holidays at Casa Beach. Soon you will begin to see a lot of pregnant moms, and we expect 40 to 50 new pups to be born in 2018. The majority of the newborn pups will arrive between February 8 and March 8. If you’re lucky, you might witness a birth!
Casa Beach in La Jolla is the only NOAA-recognized mainland harbor seal rookery between the U.S./Mexico Border and Ventura County, 160 miles to the north. It is very rare for harbor seals to choose an urbanized setting for their home. Nevertheless, the La Jolla Seals have been documented to exhibit extreme site fidelity to Casa Beach because of the ideal conditions that this specific beach provides them for birthing and bonding with their pups (McInnis, 2010; Linder, 2011; McInnis, 2012). Casa Beach also oﬀers visitors a unique opportunity to view these beautiful marine mammals, undisturbed in their natural habitat during pupping season.
There is no beach access allowed during harbor seal pupping season (December 15 to May 15) in order to protect the moms and pups when they are most vulnerable. You can watch the pregnant seals and their newborn pups from the mid-landing behind the chain, from the sidewalk above Casa Beach, or from the sea wall, if open.
The Seal Conservancy plays a pivotal role supporting the City of San Diego in implementing the current seal protections, which were approved by the San Diego City Council, the Mayor, the City’s Planning Commission, and the California Coastal Commission. During the 2015, 2016, and 2017 pupping seasons, the seasonal closure has brought peace and stability to the beach for the Seals while also reducing calls to the San Diego Police Department by 82.6%. The primary mission of the Seal Conservancy is to maintain these protections: the pupping season closure from December 15 – May 15 annually, and the viewing guideline rope during the summer and fall months when the pupping season is over and the weather is warmer.
We are hopeful that justice will be served and that the horrible ruling which struck down the annual winter beach closure will be overturned by the State Court of Appeals. This outcome would allow the protections to continue for the Seals during their pupping season, when they need them the most. A decision is expected some time in 2018. We thank all of you for your steadfast support of the harbor seals of Casa Beach, and hope to see you enjoying this unique natural treasure during the 2018 pupping season.
Share the shore with seals!
Want to hear what a seal pup sounds like? Please click the picture below.
Help us by making a tax-deductible donation of $10, $100, $1,000 or more.
Each dollar brings us closer to our goal of protecting the Casa Beach harbor seal rookery. THANKS!
or mail a check to:
PO Box 2016
La Jolla, CA 92038
All donations are tax deductible per IRS regulation 501(c)(3)
What is the Seal Conservancy ?
- A non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation founded in 1999 to protect the harbor seal rookery at Casa Beach, 850 Coast Blvd, La Jolla, California
- The only local organization exclusively dedicated to educating the public about seals and to advocating for enforcement of laws to protect the seals
- Consists of a Board of Directors, and supporting contributors
- The Seal Conservancy is the spokesperson for the seals in the media, in courtrooms, and in public debates
- The Seal Conservancy does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, gender, gender expression, age, national origin, ancestry, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations.
The mission of the Seal Conservancy is to preserve and protect the La Jolla harbor seal rookery for the enjoyment and educational benefit of children, and for the ecological, scientific, historic, and scenic benefits to all.