California sea lion harem at San Miguel Island rookery. Taken by Tony Orr (NOAA)
According to a recent Reuters article, biologists have reported worrying trends in the California sea lion population resulting from a warming ocean. This has seen both lower birth rates, and an alarming increase in young sea lions starving and being stranded on the beaches.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), since January this year, already over 2,000, mostly young sea lions have been found either dead or dying on the southern and central coasts of California.
This is apparently over twice the average number of stranded animals considered normal, yet comes nowhere near the record 4,600 beached sea lions found in 2015, predominantly in the first half of that year. (Of those animals beached in 2015, rescue teams were able to rehabilitate and release 1,300. The rest were already dead when found…
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