Marine Mammals
The Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary attracts many diverse species of marine mammals. Marine mammals spend the majority of their lives in or near the sea and include pinnipeds (seals and sea lions), cetaceans (dolphins and whales) and sea otters. At least 36 species of whales, dolphins, seals, and sea lions have been observed within the sanctuary’s boundaries. Many species of whales and dolphins often frequent the surrounding waters including the endangered blue and humpback whales which use the sanctuary as an important feeding ground. California sea lions, elephant seals, northern fur seals, and Steller sea lions visit sanctuary waters to feed on krill, squid, and juvenile fishes. In addition, one fifth of California’s harbor seals breed within the sanctuary.

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