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Seal Conservancy | Preserving a unique natural treasure
Preserving a Unique Natural Treasure

2021 Pup Births

As of March 6, 2021, 48 newborn pups have been counted on the beach and a few more are expected to be born in the next 2 weeks. This is truly an exciting year at Casa Beach, with pup counts this year exceeding those from 2019 and 2018! For more pup photos and updates please visit our Pup News page.

Photo provided by Roxann Grant


2021 Pupping Season is Here!

As of December 16, 2020, the chain is up and the 2021 harbor seal pupping season has begun at Casa Beach in La Jolla. The sandy beach is closed to the public until May 15, 2021. 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!

In the month of January, visitors will see many pregnant moms.  We expect approximately 50 new pups to be born in 2021. 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 the next 10 years!  We hope that all of you will be able to come and see this unique natural treasure in person during the 2021 Pupping Season.



Video provided by Roxy Grant





Want to hear what a seal pup sounds like? Please click the picture below.

Dover and mom enjoying a sunny day!



In Memoriam

  Patricia Fickling née Engebritson (May 6, 1946 – March 3, 2021) died peacefully on March 3rd after a short battle with cancer. She was a loving daughter, sister, mother, grandmother, friend, and supporter as well as a dedicated public servant, working as a librarian for many years.  Pat loved animals of all kinds and was always excited to share that love with her grandkids. She especially loved showing them the seals at La Jolla’s Casa Beach. If you would like to honor Pat’s memory by donating to the Seal Conservancy Patricia Fickling Memorial Fund, please click the button below. Be sure to include “In memory of Pat Fickling” in the Comment section of the donation form.


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!

Make a secure online contribution in any amount using a Credit Card or PayPal account

 or mail a check to:

Seal Conservancy
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.


The guideline rope creates a buffer between humans and seals and is vital for their protection during the 7 non-pupping season months.

1,092 signatures

Guideline Rope Petition

I support the City of San Diego's viewing guideline rope, which creates a buffer between humans and the harbor seals that haul out on the sand at Casa Beach, as approved by the San Diego City Council on May 17, 2010, and the California Coastal Commission on June 10, 2015.

**your signature**


The seasonal beach closure has dramatically reduced seal harassment while maintaining this unique viewing experience for all to enjoy.

898 signatures

Pupping Season Beach Closure Petition

I support closing Casa Beach during the harbor seal pupping season, December 15 to May 15 annually, as approved by the San Diego City Council on February 24, 2014 and the California Coastal Commission on August 14, 2014.

**your signature**