Subject: first documented fur seal pup birth

Michael Williamson (pita@whale.simmons.edu)
Fri, 6 Sep 1996 22:44:42 -0400 (EDT)

Subject: BCN SF Bay News Roundup [Sep 5 11 am PDT]
Date: 09/05/96 11:50:52 AM
Copyright: Copyright 1996 by Bay City News


 Federal wildlife officials say the Farallon Islands off the coast of San
Francisco is the site of the first documented fur seal pup birth in the area in
more than 170 years.
 A Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary spokesman said yesterday tha
t the discovery of the pup, apparently born this summer on the islands, is
especially significant since northern fur seals are a dwindling species.
 Once a breeding ground for hundreds of seals, the Farallon Islands became a
favorite 19th century site for hunters killing the animals for their valuable
pelts.  The seals abandoned the islands as a breeding ground in the early
1800s.
 Scientists have documented recent northern fur seal births only in Alaska and
on the Channel Islands off the Santa Barbara coast.
 People eager to view the graceful creatures, however, will probably have the
best luck at a zoo; the Farallon Islands are now accessible only by special
permit to researchers.

(Forwarded by Stacy Braslau-Schneck
Stacy_Braslau-Schneck@notes.providian.com)