A small decrease in the amount of prey female seals can consume causes a big dropoff in elephant seal reproductive success.
Año Nuevo Island Reserve
Fog binds California and Chile together
By Kathleen Wong, UC Natural Reserve System The thick fog that cloaks California shorelines over summer has an atmospheric counterpart south of the equator. Marine fog not only drenches coastal sections of the South American nation of Chile, but is so reliable that some communities there use fog for drinking water. And in both areas, […]
Elephant seals measure “the Blob”
By Tim Stephens, UC Santa Cruz The North Pacific Blob, a marine heatwave that began in late 2013 and continued through 2015, was the largest and longest-lasting marine heatwave on record. A new study using data collected by elephant seals reveals that in addition to the well documented surface warming, deeper warm-water anomalies associated with […]
Researchers track juvenile elephant seals for insights into mortality rates
By Tim Stephens, UC Santa Cruz As young elephant seals grow up, males and females diverge dramatically in their size, diets, migration patterns, and even how likely they are to survive. A new research project led by Roxanne Beltran, assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at UC Santa Cruz, is investigating how the increasing […]
2022 Field Science Fellows
By Kathleen Wong, UC Natural Reserve System When wildfires rage, fire retardants can slow or stop the spread of flames. These chemical mixes are often sprayed over large swaths of land, coating entire hillsides in stripes of yellow or red. In recent years, millions of gallons of fire retardants have been dropped in a single […]
Experienced mothers prime pups for success
By Tim Stephens, UC Santa Cruz A new study based on four decades of data from the elephant seal colony at Año Nuevo Reserve has enabled researchers to disentangle the effects of environmental conditions, population density, and maternal traits on reproductive success in northern elephant seals. The study, published October 13 in Proceedings of the Royal Society […]
Biologist wins Packard Fellowship for Año Nuevo research
By Tim Stephens, UC Santa Cruz The David and Lucile Packard Foundation has awarded a Packard Fellowship for Science and Engineering to Roxanne Beltran, assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at UC Santa Cruz. The Packard Fellowships support young scientists and engineers who show exceptional promise and creativity. The Packard Fellowship gives Beltran $875,000 […]
Listening in on the world of elephant seals
Professor Roxanne Beltran of UC Santa Cruz is developing a novel way to eavesdrop on ocean soundscapes heard by elephant seals.