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    California Sea Lion sighted on St. Paul Island, Alaska

    Adult male California sea lion sighted amongst the northern fur seals at Southwest Point on St. Paul Island, Alaska on June 29, 2012.

    An adult male California sea lion was recently sighted “just barkin away” amongst the northern fur seals at Southwest Point on St. Paul Island, Alaska. The observation was made by Citizen Sentinels Jama and Tom Shane on June 29, 2012. Adult male California sea lions are easily differentiated from their northern relatives, the Steller sea lion by the difference in the forehead profile, smaller size, darker color and their distinctive “barking” vocalization. Male California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) often move north from the breeding rookeries off the coast of California during summer-fall. Sightings in Alaska waters are rare but increasing according to the Guide to Marine Mammals of Alaska by Kate Wynne (2007). Three previous observations of male California sea lions have been recorded in the Island Sentinel/BeringWatch database: at Northeast Point on St. Paul Island in October 2005; at Dalnoi Point on St. George Island in February 2006; and at Polovina Cliffs on St. Paul Island in July 2010. Observations such as these are important to document in order to evaluate possible changes in species ranges in response to changing environmental conditions.

    For more information on the Citizen Sentinel Program contact Pamela Lestenkof (pmlestenkof@tgspi.com) at the Tribal Government of St. Paul Island Ecosystem Conservation Office.

     

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