National Geographic : 1959 Nov
California's Wonderful One Protected by law, the herd has now multi plied to about 600 and ranges from the kelp rafts off Carmel Point south almost to Piedras Blancas Point. With luck, patience, and bin oculars, you can see these indomitable surviv ors of a harassed species (page 599). Disease Threatens Monterey Cypresses Ahead of us now lay one of the most fasci nating wonders our highroad has to offer, the 355-acre Point Lobos Reserve State Park (page 574). In this outdoor museum live 300 species of plants, including the finest natural stand of the picturesque Monterey cypress. In recent years these gnarled, wind-blown trees have been threatened with destruction by cypress canker. Foresters have examined and destroyed cypresses for miles around Point Lobos, lest spores from infected trees be trans mitted to healthy ones by wind and birds. Point Lobos also contains 178 species of vertebrate animals and 88 of marine inverte brates. But it is the sea lions that have the greatest appeal for most visitors. The Span iards knew them and named the place Punta de los Lobos Marinos, or Point of the Sea Wolves. Here two species of sea lion still meet and live in apparent harmony: the Steller, largest and least tractable of their kind, and the California, most intelligent of all sea lions. It is the California species which, despite the small ears distinguishing him from the true seal, usually appears as the "trained seal" of circus and vaudeville.