REPORT a marine mammal stranding.
Call (831) 212-1272. Click for more info.
Report a Stranding (831) 212-1272

REPORT a Stranding

Have you found a dead or live marine mammal on the beach? 

For DEAD marine mammals in Santa Cruz County: (831) 212-1272
For DEAD marine mammals in other counties:

In San Mateo County: (415) 379-5381

In Monterey County: (831) 771-4422
For LIVE marine mammals in Santa Cruz County & greater SF Bay Area:

In San Jose, San Mateo and Marin Counties: (415) 289-SEAL (7325)

In Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties: (831) 633-6298

In San Luis Obispo and Morro Bay Counties: (805) 771-8300



What information do I need to report a marine mammal stranding?

When you call the stranding hotline the following information will facilitate a timely and efficient response.  Even if you don't have most of the following information, we want to hear from you!


  • Local or official name of beach
  • Landmarks (life guard tower numbers)
  • Nearest beach access
  • Where on the beach relative to the water


  • When did you see the animal?


Consider the following questions when you observe an animal:

  • How big is the animal? (compare to beach chair, surfboard, your own height).
  • What color is the animal?
  • Is it dark or light?
  • Does it have spots?
  • Is it all one color or multiple colors?
  • Does the animal appear to have fur or does it have smooth skin?


If the animal is dead, the freshness of the carcass is important in determining what kind of response is necessary.  You can help assess freshness by looking for the following:

  • Are the eyes intact?
  • Is the fur or skin completely intact?
  • Does the carcass appear inflated like a balloon?
  • Does it smell?
  • Do you see birds near the carcass?