CANNON BEACH — Have you seen the leopards at Haystack Rock? Leopard nudibranchs that is! The Haystack Rock Awareness Program (HRAP) invites everyone to join them as they embark upon their second annual nudibranch safari. Join the expedition as explorers of all ages trek through the intertidal, on a search for the elusive nudibranch.

The Nudibranch Safari takes place 10:30 a.m.-noon, Saturday, May 11, and will be led by HRAP’s own Nudibranch Queen, Lisa Habecker. It will be fun for all ages and abilities as participants learn about the 16+ species of nudibranch that make Haystack Rock their home.

Leopard, Opalescent, Shaggy Mouse, Clown, Rufus Tipped, and at least 11 other nudibranch species live in the Marine Garden at Haystack Rock, and all are only seen at low-tide. Nudibranchs, also known as sea slugs, are a group of soft-bodied marine mollusks that shed their shells after their larval stage.

There are over 3,000 species worldwide, and over 50 species that can be found in Pacific Northwest waters. The variety of species found at Haystack Rock range in size from less than half an inch, to no longer than four inches. Their flashy colors, distinct appearance, small size, and evasiveness make them a favorite discovery amongst tidepool enthusiasts.

This is a free event, but donations to the program will be accepted. Anyone interested in attending is asked to RSVP on Facebook or call or email Habecker at 503-436-8064 or Last-minute participants, and participants that did not RSVP will of course be welcomed. A limited number of event T-shirts will be available for purchase.

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