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Investigating an Endangered Species: The Steller Sea Lion

December 22, 2014

Keeping track of Steller sea lion populations is no easy task, but it's critical to ensuring their survival. In the U.S., the Steller sea lion is endangered under the Endangered Species Act in the western part of its range.

This animal is one of the largest pinnipeds in the world with adult males weighing over 2,000 pounds. Threats to Steller sea lions include boat/ship strikes, habitat degradation, and interactions with fisheries (e.g., gear entanglement, competition for food resources).

Both the Western and Eastern populations were once considered threatened, but the Eastern population has continually increased, and as of 2013, has fully recovered. During this same time period, the Western population declined and then stabilized as a whole – but in the Western Aleutians, the decline continues and scientists are trying to figure out why.

Watch the video:
Investigating an Endangered Species: The Steller Sea Lion>>>