Steller sea lions

Since 1980, more than 80% of the Steller sea lion population has disappeared, leaving the current wild populations with fewer than 50,000 individuals. In 1997, the U.S. government classified Steller sea lions as “endangered” in the Gulf of Alaska and Aleutian Islands.

Consortium Scientists are undertaking short and long term projects to test the hypotheses put forward to explain the decline of Steller sea lions. These studies draw on the expertise of physiologists, ecologists, marine mammalogists, fisheries specialists and oceanographers.

This concerted research effort involves studying sea lions in the field, in the laboratory, and integrating the results using mathematical modeling. Such a multidisciplinary approach is needed to determine the cause of changes in the North Pacific. Our research investigates:

Nutritional Stress?
Why did they decline?
We undertake studies to test the leading hypotheses thought to explain the decline of Steller sea lions. [more]
Sea lion biology and ecology
Information about the ecology, biology, physiology, behaviour and population dynamics of sea lions is needed to resolve why sea lions have declined. [more]
New Technologies
  • Trained Steller sea lions test hypotheses and develop new approaches