Live Beach Cam

South Beach, Piedras Blancas Rookery

North Beach, Piedras Blancas Rookery

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If you are witnessing harassment of an elephant seal anywhere in the rookery or any human activity of concern on the live stream, please call State Park Dispatch: 805-927-2068.  As always, thanks for checking on the seals! 

Want to learn more about what you’re seeing now?

Each summer, sub-adult and adult male elephant seals leave their ocean home temporarily to return to the Piedras Blancas rookery for the Summer molt.  During the annual catastrophic molt, elephant seals spend about a month on the beach while shedding their outer layers of hair and skin. This is a great time to see them as they spar, rest and vocalize on the Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Viewing Area beaches.

Please join us in welcoming back the returning elephant seals! Learn all about this important season for the elephant seals by watching:  The Summer Molt: A Virtual Field Trip on our YouTube channel.

You can also visit the Friends of the Elephant Seal YouTube Channel to see short multi-lingual videos about the Spring and Summer Molt in 14 languages!  Choose from English, Spanish, Chinese Traditional,  Danish, Dutch, Filipino, French, German, Greek, Japanese, Italian, Portuguese and Russian!

For the remainder of the year, we will also be following the progress of 10 weanlings (weaned elephant seal pups) on their first migration at sea. These weanlings are being studied by our colleagues at California Polytechnic State University.  (The VIP lab website displays a live map of their satellite tracks.)

Planning a visit? Check What’s Happening Now to catch up arrivals and departures from the rookery beaches each month. 

About The Seals

About Elephant Seals

Seals on the sand

The northern elephant seal is the second largest seal in the world, after the southern elephant seal. Much more agile in their ocean environment, an elephant seal moves on land with considerable effort, by using its front flippers and belly. Adult males are 14 to 16 feet (4 to 5 m) in length and 4,000 to 5,000 pounds (1,400 to 2,300 kg) in weight. The females are much smaller at about 9 to 12 feet (2.5 to 4 m) in length and weigh 900 to 1,800 pounds (400 to 800 kg). Pups are 3 to 4 feet (1 m) long at birth and weigh about 70 pounds (32 kg).

What's Happening On The Beach?

Month by Month at the rookery

The number of seals at the rookery peaks three times during the year: in late January when most births have occurred, around the first of May at the peak of the juvenile/adult female molt, and in late October during the fall or juvenile haul-out. The annual cycle begins in November with the arrival of mature males at the end of the month.

Why Elephant Seals Are Awesome

Fun Facts

  • Elephant seals take their name from the large proboscis of the adult male (bull), which resembles an elephant’s trunk.
  • Male elephant seals weigh as much as a small truck or cargo van.
  • Elephant seals are shielded from extreme cold more by their blubber than by fur.

Get the Latest News & Updates


Friends of the Elephant Seal is a 501(c) (3) non- profit corporation, relying on grants, sponsorships, memberships and your donations. Your charitable contribution supports our programs.

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Follow Friends of the Elephant Seal on our social channels for up-to-the-minute updates and images from the rookery.

Friends of the Elephant Seal is a cooperating association with California State Parks.

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