Steller and Califonia Sea Lions at Craig Bay logging yard, Nanoose Bay Vancouver Island BC. SCO 8101

- Image ID: CNBNHJ
David Gowans / Alamy Stock Photo
Steller sea lions range throughout the Pacific Rim (from northern California to Northern Honshu in Japan, and to the Bering Strait). About 70 percent of the Steller sea lion population resides in Alaska. Steller sea lions are highly gregarious and they use traditional haul out sites (an area used for resting) and rookeries (an area used for breeding and rearing young) on remote and exposed islands. These sites can be rock shelves, ledges, log rafts, boulders, and gravel or sand beaches. Steller sea lions prefer to swim and hunt in colder waters. Once a year, beginning in May, they congregate on land for the mating season. Males usually arrive first to establish their territories. Only the strongest males are able to claim enough territory to form a harem of three to 20 females. Once the females arrive, the males herd them into their territories. Often, males will fight over females by throwing their bodies against each other and biting. Young pups are fed by their mother for at least the first three months and sometimes up to a year. At one month, they are able to swim and by the time they’re three months old, they are able to catch their own food. They feed on squid and octopus as well as herring, mackerel and salmon. One of the greatest threats to the Steller sea lion population is human activity, including oil spills and increased competition with the commercial fishing industry. Steller sea lions can be found on the North Pacific coasts of Russia, Japan, Canada and part of the United States. In Canada, they are found along the rocky coast of British Columbia. The main predators of Steller sea lions are killer whales, sharks and humans.
Location: North West Bay, Nanoose, Vancouver Island. British Columbia. Canada