Marine Mammals

512x219 HASE Pup Peter Davis

The quiet shoreline of Protection Island provides an ideal spot for tired seals to rest.  The surrounding waters are rich in food resources allowing them ample opportunity to rejuvenate.

  • Harbor Seal

    150x118 HASE Lambert

    The Salish Sea supports a healthy population of harbor seals.  They can be identified by their gray to brown, spotted skin.  Although much of their life is spent in the water, harbor seals periodically "haul out" on land to rest, molt, give birth, and care for pups.  Hundreds of seals use the shores of Protection Island for this purpose.  They are present year-round, but haul out on the island most frequently during their summer and fall pupping and molting seasons.

  • Northern Elephant Seal

    List-ELSE-J Kirkhart

    Although much more rarely seen than harbor seals, elephant seals also populate the island's shore.  Larger than harbor seals, male elephant seals are easily identified by their large, elephantine nose.  They use the beach to mate, birth pups, and molt.  Because they lose all their hair at one time in a surprisingly bloody process, the elephant seal's molt is referred to as a "catastrophic molt."