Stellar Sea Lion

This is a group of Stellar Sea Lions lounging on a bit of convenient rock. The boat got fairly close to that rock, but the sea lions did not get spooked to the point of leaving their comfy perch. At worst, they just kept a close eye on us, but several just kept sleeping (meh...just another stoopid boat).

Stellar Sea Lions are undergoing some significant changes. There are two populations of Stellar Sea Lion: eastern (found on the eastern coast of Asia) and western (found on the western coast of North America). For some yet to be agreed upon reason, the western population has declined between 70% and 80% since the 1970's, and has been listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act since 1990. There are lots of theories to help explain the decline (including decreasing populations of fish from climate change or our economy, increasing predation by Orca, disease, pollution, or some combination of each of these), but there is no consensus on which one(s) are the most likely.

Stellar Sea Lions

Stellar Sea Lions


HANNIBAL said...

Todd--You amaze me with your photography! These are such a great addition to your collection!

T and S said...

Awesome images. Love the composition on the first one and the details on the 2nd