We were so happy for the opportunity to observe California sea lions in Ventura and along the coast of Channel Islands National Park.
According to @themarinemammalcenter
“California sea lions are very social animals, and groups often rest closely packed together at favored haul-out sites on land or float together on the ocean's surface in "rafts." They are sometimes seen "porpoising," or jumping out of the water, presumably to speed up their swimming. Sea lions have also been seen "surfing" breaking waves. California sea lions are opportunistic eaters, feeding on squid, octopus, herring, rockfish, mackerel, and small sharks. In turn, sea lions are preyed upon by Orcas (killer whales) and great white sharks.
Their population is growing steadily, and California sea lions can be seen in many coastal spots such as the Monterey Coast Guard jetty and PIER 39 in San Francisco. The current population is approximately 238,000.
California sea lions are our most common patients at The Marine Mammal Center. In 2009, we admitted over 1700 animals. Nearly 1400 of these were California sea lions. The most common reasons California sea lions are rescued include: malnutrition, domoic acid toxicosis, leptospirosis, cancer, pneumonia, entanglement in debris or fishing gear, gunshots, and other wounds. In 2009, many of the sea lions that stranded were malnourished yearlings. Animals can become severely underweight from maternal separation, disease, lack of food sources, effects of El Niño and other environmental factors. In 1998, the Center diagnosed the first case of domoic acid toxicosis in marine mammals; a condition caused by harmful algal blooms which causes the animals to have seizures. Although the Center has conducted extensive studies to better understand this disease, hundreds of sea lions are affected annually.” More information can be found here: http://www.marinemammalcenter.org/education/marine-mammal-information/pinnipeds/california-sea-lion/
#GrandmaJoysRoadTrip #CaliforniaSeaLion #CaliforniaSeaLions #sealion #sealions #marinemammals #channelislands #channelislandsnationalpark
Photo credit: Leah Moffatt