STELLER SEA LION RESEARCH
why did they decline?
Consortium Researchers undertake studies to test the leading hypotheses thought to explain the decline of Steller sea lions. These include:
- Predation―Are killer whales responsible for the decline of Steller sea lions?
- Overfishing―Reductions in Quantity of Prey―Did fishing reduce the abundance of prey and cause food shortages for sea lions? Is there a relationship between fishing effort and the decline of sea lions?
- Ocean Climate Change ―Reductions in Quality of Prey―Did wide-scale climate changes negatively affect sea lion numbers by increasing the amounts of nutritionally poor species in their diets?
- Other Factors―Did disease, human disturbance, or pollution contribute to the decline?
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