2024 Pupping Season is Almost Here
Pupping season will begin when Casa Beach is closed to the public from December 15, 2023 through May 15, 2024. Until then, the guideline rope at Casa Beach is helping to create an enjoyable viewing experience for the visitors. Once pupping season begins, we encourage everyone to take advantage of the opportunity to come see the seals, undisturbed by people during these 5 months as they give birth, nurse, and rear their pups. A truly beautiful sight!
In the month of January, visitors will see many pregnant moms. We expect 50 to 60 new pups to be born in 2024. 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).
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. Visitors are able to 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 (which is always open except during hazardous conditions, as determined by the City Lifeguards). The seasonal beach closure — the permits for which are now approved through at least the year 2029 — has reduced seal harassment to zero during the pupping season while dramatically reducing police calls with no citations issued at all. The closure has restored the calm needed for the seals to give birth and nurse their pups in a natural environment free of human harassment during this critical time. The City’s Viewing Guideline Rope — also recently approved through at least the year 2029 — has been successful in preventing human harassment of the harbor seal colony during the non-pupping-season months.
These permits are an elegant compromise which balance public access to the beach with animal habitat protection, successfully maintaining this unique and special coastal resource.
Thanks to you, the La Jolla Seals will continue to benefit from these sensible and effective protections for (at least) the next 6 years! We hope that all of you will be able to come and see this unique natural treasure in person during the 2024 Pupping Season.
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
- A 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.