State Marine Mammal

California Gray Whale
Eschrichtius robustus

California gray whales are amazing travelers, migrating 14,000 miles a year. In the summer, they live in the Bering Sea where they eat small crustaceans on the ocean floor. In the winter, they head south in small groups along the California coast to Baja California.  In these warm waters, they mate and give birth. By early spring, they once again follow the California coastline north to the Bering Sea.

Along their route, you might get to see these mottled gray colored whales that have a low hump on their back rather than a dorsal fin. At 35-50 feet in length and weighing 20-40 tons, these large mammals can be seen from the shore. International efforts starting in 1949 helped gray whale populations stabilize in most areas they frequent.

(Assembly Bill 258, Chapter 328, 1975)

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