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Concerns raised about dropping Carpinteria seal rookery population

CARPINTERIA, Calif. - The Carpinteria harbor seal haul out and rookery has seen a drop in its population in recent years and the city may be taking steps to add new protections to the area.

It is located east of Carpinteria State Beach and below the bluffs off of Bailard.

The area is clearly marked and the public is asked, through signage, not to walk through when there are seals on the beach especially pups bonding with their mothers.

By comparison, in 2012 there were over 400 seals at the site.

This year only about 200 have been seen.

The area is monitored by docents who educate the public from a bluff top location.

The Carpinteria City Council will discuss the issue tonight at its regular meeting at the request of a citizen who was concerned about the population drop.

The council is considering the formation of a committee to look into the protections already in place, and whether or not to enhance them.

That could include more signage, or the planting of bluff top vegetation to shield the view of the seals from the public looking down.

The area is also referred to as a "Seal Sanctuary". A city report says is thought to be
one of just four locations where harbor seal colonies exist along the southern California
coast.

Another location, in La Jolla also has similar protections from the local community.

Watch tonight on KEYT NewsChannel 3-12, KKFX Fox 11

(More details, video and photos will be added here later today.)

Animals / Education / Lifestyle / Local Politics / Outdoors / Safety / Santa Barbara - South County / Video
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John Palminteri

John Palminteri is senior reporter for KEYT NewsChannel 3. To learn more about John, click here.

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