Our first Sea Lion of the Month for May has been very popular among all of you. He has received more nominations than any other sea lion and I think I can see why—he loves the camera! This male was was marked almost 6 years ago on June 23, 2011 at his birth place, Gillon Point (on Agattu Island, which is why he has a ~ mark). He weighed in at about 67 pounds (30.2 kg) and was about 3.5 feet (107 cm) long. Since we didn’t have our remote cameras stationed out in the Aleutian Islands until after his birth, his first months of life are a bit of a mystery . . .
One thing we do know, he is not a shy sea lion! Biologists on board the research cruise in March 2012 (to collect scat and install the remote cameras) saw him at Cape Wrangell (Attu Island). In June 25, 2012, we also saw him during our annual summer research cruise. Though we didn’t catch a glimpse of him in 2013, we did the following year during the summer research cruise (June 2014).
From the remote camera images, ~22 is seen very regularly at Cape Wrangell. The last time he was seen with his mom and suckling was way back in October 2012 so he was likely weaned shortly after. This is earlier than what we observed for ~84. Interestingly, for the past few years he hasn’t been seen on any images during the winter and early spring. He must be exploring all the North Pacific Ocean has to offer!
We leave June 22nd for this year’s summer research cruise; I wonder if we will see him again this year?
We will share the stories of two marked sea lions each month. Be sure to check-in on the 1st and 15th of every month to learn about our featured Steller sear lion. You may nominate a sea lion by submitting their full mark on the Sea Lion of the Month forum. Thank you all for your nominations!