- Northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris) historically experienced a significant population decrease to the brink of extinction owing to human exploitation, but have since recovered and recolonized former breeding/haul-out sites. Point Reyes Peninsula, California, is one location where population increase has resulted in colony expansion.
- Initial models identified suitable breeding haul-outs and suggested that human disturbance, geomorphology, mean wave height, and slope were important explanatory variables. Three sea-level rise (SLR) scenarios were run, which indicated that most current and potential haul-out sites would largely be inundated by 2050. Because the Point Reyes coast has limited suitable habitat for the seals to colonize, conservation measures may guide management responses to SLR.
- The resulting analyses can be used to better understand local-scale seal responses to SLR and contribute to effective management of pinnipeds within Point Reyes National Seashore and elsewhere.
Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.