NPR/NGS Radio Expeditions
Search this contributor

Piedras Blancas
San Luis Obispo, California, United States
Search this location, Illustrated Checklist
Latitude and Longitude 35.6639, -121.2594 Map

Age and Sex
; People;


Subject 1: Northern Elephant Seal (Mirounga angustirostris). Timecode In: 00:00:04. Timecode out: 00:16:43. Notes: Time of Day: 0820. Subject 2: Northern Elephant Seal (Mirounga angustirostris). Timecode In: 00:22:23. Timecode out: 01:05:17. Notes: Time of Day: 0850. Subject 3: (Environmental Recording). Subtitle: Ocean surf ambi. Timecode In: 01:06:33. Timecode out: 01:11:59. Subject 4: (Interview). Subtitle: Brian B. Hatfield. Timecode In: 01:13:23. Timecode out: 01:24:25. Notes: Northern Elephant Seal. Habitat: Marine Shoreline, Beach. Equipment Notes: Stereo=1; Decoded MS stereo. NPR/NGS RADIO EXPEDITIONS PIEDRAS BLANCAS -Elephant Seals/ Brian Hatfield/Tourists LOG -DAT #4 February 12, 1997 0:01:30 -7:23 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; 11:38-16:46 FX -more waves, beach, seals 11:38-good barking 17:35 -18:30 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 39:40 good 43:36 VVG! 45:19 Good 49:12 Good 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 bitten? BH: Lack of funding within the agencies. NMFS is the... (Notes truncated)

Background Species

Northern Elephant Seal - Mirounga angustirostris

Technical Information


Archival Information

17 Aug 2009 by Ben Brotman
17 Aug 2009 by Ben Brotman
17 Aug 2009 by Ben Brotman