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Steller Sea Lion (ringtone)

© Dennis Hysom (audio)
Steller Sea Lion, Eumetopias jubatus
A Steller Sea Lion colony is a noisy, busy place. Breeding bulls, fasting for one to two months during the mating season, often fight fiercely to defend their territory and their harems of 10 to 30 cows. The females (who are only one third the size of the male's 2,000 or more pounds) arrive on territory in May or June and give birth about three days later to a pup bred the previous summer. Within two weeks of the birth she mates again. Steller Sea Lions are declining precipitously in number for unknown reasons, and the worldwide population has been reduced by 80 percent in recent years. It is thought that a major contributing factor may be the overfishing of pollack, the sea lion's preferred food in Alaska. Changes in ocean temperature, long-term exposure to pollutants and other toxins, and disease may also play a part. Learn more about this species
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