Elephant Seals at Ano Nuevo - SFUSD School Health Programs by qingyunliuliu

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									                              MENTORING FOR SUCCESS

                                 FIELD TRIP ACTIVITY

ELEPHANT SEALS AT ANO NUEVO STATE PARK

OBJECTIVE
This fun and educational activity provides an outlet for participants to get to         know each other
outside of school.

MATERIALS
Money (tour and parking), Camera, Snacks, Water.

TIME
Approximately 3 to 4 hours (tour lasts 2.5 hours)

PREPARATION
Prior to visiting the Año Nuevo State Park, participants should discuss with one another what
they know about Elephant seals and what can lead to an animal becoming extinct.


GENERAL INFORMATION:

Reservations & Contact Info:
Año Nuevo State Park
650-879-0227 (recorded info)
800-444-4445 (reservations)
650-879-2033 (reservations)

Location: Año Nuevo State Reserve is located on State Route 1, between the cities of Santa Cruz and
Half Moon Bay, about 1.5 hours south of San Francisco. Watch carefully for the brown entrance signs on
State Route 1.

Hours: Tours are given daily from December through March
January and February are the best months to see the action, but also the time when weather tends to be
the worst. Go too early and you'll see only the males coming ashore. Go too late and you'll find the young
sea lions but no adults.

Admission Prices:
Guided Tour Tickets are $5 per person (December-March).
      Children 3 and under are free, and do not need a ticket.
      Children age 17 and under require one adult chaperone for each 10 children
                *Note: Free self-guided walks are available (April-November).
Visitor Entrance to Año Nuevo is by Visitor Permit only — all year round. The entrance fee to the Reserve
is on a per vehicle basis ($7) and must be paid at the entrance station. The exception is for students
(Grade 1-12) arriving by school bus.

Auto Regular ……………....$7.00                                      Bus (10-24 passengers)…...$50.00
Auto Senior (age 62+) ….…$6.00                                   Bus (25 + passengers).........$100.
                                     Mentoring for Success

                                   Field Trip ACTIVITY
PROGRAMS INFORMATION:

Every year thousands of individuals gather on a California beach during the winter to watch as the
northern elephant seals arrive at to Año Nuevo State Park (south of San Francisco). Females arrive with
newborn babies and males fight to mate with them. The cycle of birthing, mating and fighting last for three
months. Not too long ago, northern elephant seals were on the brink of extinction.

In the nineteenth century, elephant seals were hunted to the verge of extinction and by 1892, less than
100 individuals remained. In 1922, Mexico led the way to rescue them by passing protective legislation
and the United States followed. The species began to recover, and in the 1950s the first pups were born
at to Año Nuevo Island. By the 1970s, the island became so crowded that the colony expanded onto the
nearby shore. Today, there are more than 150,000 elephant seals, and many of them come to Año Nuevo
every year, making it the site of the largest breeding colony of the northern elephant seal.

Because the colony is easily accessible via a short hike over the sand dunes, visitors are treated to an
extraordinary opportunity to see the breeding colony up close. Tours are guided by volunteer naturalists,
who explain the goings-on and keep the elephant seals and humans safe from each other.

A typical tour starts with a 25-minute walk from the park headquarters to a staging area where the
naturalists meet their groups. The group makes their way across the sand dunes to the breeding area.
The path varies daily depending on animal activities, but lucky visitors may witness the birth of a pup or a
battle between two males. The 2.5-ton males make bellowing call that sounds like a "motorcycle in a drain
pipe" as docents like to say, and most of the fights are mere skirmishes, but exciting nevertheless.

Practicalities
       The only way to see the seals during breeding season is on a guided tour. Spaces on the tour are
        by reservation only. Ticket sales usually start in October and you can reserve your tour 56 days in
        advance by calling 800-444-4445 or 916-638-5883.

       No food or beverages (except for bottled water) are allowed on the tour, and no refreshments are
        available at the park, so eat before you go or take a picnic with you.

       Pets are not allowed in the park and umbrellas are not allowed on the walk.

       The walk is about 3 miles long, moderately strenuous, and the path to the viewing area is not
        suitable for those with mobility impairments. However, the park can accommodate people with
        special needs on a wheelchair-accessible boardwalk with advance special reservations.

Additional Information:
http://parks.ca.gov

								
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