Cal Poly researchers, under the direction of Dr. Heather Liwanag, Associate Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, began pilot research on the Piedras Blancas northern elephant seal colony in 2017-2018. Since then, their research has expanded to include a variety of observations of the colony, monitoring the health of local populations, understanding migration patterns and observing and recording breeding behaviors.
Their activities have included tracking and resighting seals with short-term dye marks and long-term flipper tags, weighing weaned pups and making observations of harems during the birthing and breeding season. Both undergraduate and graduate students are involved in this exciting research program.
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