Northern Elephant Seal
Time of Day: 0820
Northern Elephant Seal
Time of Day: 0850
Ocean surf ambi
NPR/NGS Radio Expeditions
12 Feb 1997
CaliforniaSan Luis Obispo County
- Piedras Blancas
- 35.66389 -121.25944
- Marine Shoreline
Stereo=1; Decoded MS stereo
NPR/NGS RADIO EXPEDITIONS
PIEDRAS BLANCAS -Elephant Seals/ Brian Hatfield/Tourists
LOG -DAT #4
February 12, 1997
FX of elephant seals as approach beach and rookery + waves VG @ 41:12 -4:25
8:00 -11:37 [NVG]
FX -Beach waves -general ambi -plus elephant seals in background; some sleeping and snoring;
FX -more waves, beach, seals
FX -walking -with Brian [VG] -use for transition to Piedras Blancas
Brian Hatfield -[BH]: "Did you hear the one about the one that got hit by a
car -Christmas -ran into a large subadult male that had been chased away from the beach -reared up just before hit, the woman thought head coming through windshield, dead, must have broken its neck, got a picture of the car, really smashed in ..... " 20:48
"This is Hearst property here" +....good walking FX til 21:00
22:50 -31:38 FX -bigger waves -closer to beach -some seals in background
24:22 -Good vocalizations
25:27 -good vocals -[long one then little pups vocalize --again the same]
29:06 -good loud vocals
31 :40 More vocalizations on beach close to surf
35:20 -VG vocals -short bursts
38:59 Good loud bark
55:14 end and change to new recording site
55:15 [VG] FX -Loud vocalizations of elephant seals plus bigger pounding waves -closer perspective -57:26. 58:05, 58:45 1:00:50 end then change location and more vocals end 1:05:00
1:06:39 [VG] surf -at end of the beach at Piedras Blancas 1:12:00
AC talking with Brian Hatfield about whales coming to Piedras Blancas
1:13:33 My name is Brian Hatfield. I work for the Biological Resources Division of the USGS here at Field Station at Piedras Blancas. Work primarily with sea otters, but do opportunistic counts and tag resites of new elephant seals.
AC: when did you first notice elephant seals.
here since 1970s but back in late November, 1990 saw 19 seals, by evening saw 30. Now -last spring during juvenile molt, had 4,000; number of pups born, 1300. first pup born in 1992, each year dramatic increase in pups, phenomenal increase .... .lot of animals from other rookeries, from Channel Islands ..... San Miguel and from Ano Nuevo, and some pups bran from females here
AC: Why are they here?
BH: This just seemed to be a good place ...not certain ... There's a beach 20 miles up the road at Gorda -established in late 70s before this one.... steeper beach, subject to storm waves ...has persisted, counted them a few days ago -500 pups there..... to the south to se pups, would have to be on the Channel Islands .... to the north would be Ano Nuevo.
AC: Nobody controlling access to these animals
BH: That's correct. People have to be on own good behavior and not disturb the animals. Is no restriction right along Highway #1 at this point. Soon to be docents at certain points.
AC: How control and who
BH: Right now, it's been delayed somewhat because of a road straightening process -CALTRAN creating Vista points .... not sure whether state parks will take the lead on that or not
AC: Why is it this situation elephant seals here, some people coming, being
BH: Lack of funding within the agencies. NMFS is the lead agency for northern elephant seals ..... I'm not the right person to talk about regs ..... My agency has no jurisdiction over elephant seals.
AC: Maybe people wish they would go away ..... .
BH: Maybe -situation here is complicated -area is privately owned by Hearst Corporation.
AC: How often people come down to visit elephant seals ...
BH: About 1 mile south -happens every day NMFS has put up signs warning people not to disturb the seals .... People managed to climb up on Highway #1 ...... [NVG!!!!]
As far as the road straightening and vista points that CALTRAN -probably has a good timetable for that
Leo: Reaction when first saw elephant seals
BH: ....thought it might be start of colony-went back to the office
1:24:38 -: My name is Scott .... Scott Burroughs from Adventure Charters and Tours, Las Vegas -bus driver -come up once a week. this tour comes through every 2 years ...I've been doing this tour since 1967. Tell them not to approach or tease elephant seals. Next thing, we hope there will be zebras out in pastures ahead -in Hearst Castle area. 1:25:50
1:26:04 First time see them. I think they're great. Not very active for us ....
I wouldn't get too close, would worry might chase after you ..... making a noise [NG]
1:27:34 general FX with people getting off bus -[Wind!] ... we're from Australia, Philadelphia .... closest we've ever been, other than in zoo -to elephant seals ..... never seen them before .... from Germany -on holidays .............. .incredible, god, 50 yards away .... were just down the coast .... we're just amazed ..... do actually walk across ... amazing ....... .i'd stay about 50 yards away .... out of respect....we're from san francisco .... see it on the news all the time, people getting bitten .... 1:32:42