I wrote once before about an interesting scientific website called TOPP – Tracking Pacific Pelagics. This site allows you to see in almost real time the locations around the world of many species of large marine animals that’ve been tagged.
I check out the site from time to time to see what’s new. And as the year progresses I think I’m seeing something fascinating. I’ve known for years that the elephant seals come back every year to certain beaches on the California coast to give birth and mate. What the TOPP site adds is the ability to watch where the elephant seals are in their yearly travels. As I’ve watched over the past months, the seals have traveled to the far northern Pacific Ocean. Now, they seem to be heading back to California.
Go to the this part of the TOPP website and click on “elephant seals” in the left-hand column. You'll see a record of each seal’s movements over the past few months. And each dot shows where that animal is now. You can see that they all were further north earlier in the year and now they’re migrating back. I hope to see all the dots converge on California in the coming weeks.