May 1st: >38

Sea Lion of the Month

SLM_extent.png^38_20180701.JPGSpring has sprung and I’m already dreaming about heading out into the field this summer… We’ll be heading back out to the Aleutian Islands and visiting all these sites of which you have all been viewing. I’m very excited to visit one of my favorite sites, Hasgox Point on Ulak Island. Which is where our May Sea Lion of the Month was born! This month’s sea lion is >38 who is a female that was born in 2013. When she was marked, she weighed 76 pounds (34.6 kg) and was just over 3.5 feet (111 cm) long.

This female has only ever been seen on Ulak Island so she is definitely sticking to her birth place. We seen her each year during our visits on the summer research cruise (hopefully we see her this year, again!). We saw her with her first pup last year, in 2018 when she was 5 years old. This is the pretty typical age to have a first pup and means she bred in previous summer (2017. It is certainly possible she had a pup in 2017 however, when we saw her there was quite the commotion so we didn’t get a good look.

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When we saw her during our visit in 2017. We had gone to shore in hopes to mark more pups however, three killer whales showed up which meant we didn’t want to push any animals in the water so we had about a 5-hour killer whale show around the rookery. You can see in the picture that when killer whales show up, sea lions are alert and ready to jump in the water. Seems counter-intuitive, doesn’t it? You’ll find its mostly adults that work this group mob mentality and the smaller juveniles tend to stay on shore, as they’re pretty good snacking size for the whales. Fortunately, on this day, the killer whales didn’t get any sea lions and moved along and we were able to mark animals the next day.

Have any of you seen her with a pup or at a site other than Ulak?


We will share the story of one marked sea lion each month. Be sure to check our Sea Lion of the Month page on the 1st 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 nomination forum. Thank you all for your nominations! 

March 1st: ~38

Sea Lion of the Month

SLM_extent.pngAnd we’re back with a Sea Lion of the Month for march! Our first for 2019. We’ve missed sharing more about these unique individuals and are happy to be back and sharing their stories with you all. Our featured sea lion is ~38 and he was nominated by a new member of our team!

As you probably know by now, the ~ means she was marked on Gillon Point on Agattu Island. This sea lion is a female that was marked on June 23, 2011. When she was marked she weighed almost 80 pounds (35.8 kg) and was almost 4 feet (115 cm) long. That’s a pretty big female pup!

38_20140816_1-e1550697010327.jpgThis female has been seen mostly on Cape Wrangell on Attu Island but on occasion we have seen her at the other end of the island at Chichagof Point. We have an image of this female staying with her mother and suckling until she was about three years old (August 16, 2014) at Cape Wrangell. This is a pretty significant amount of time for a juvenile to stay with their mother. It’s very likely that the mother had another pup that year and likely weaned ~38 shortly after we observed this behavior.

After that we saw her in person in 2016 at Cape Wrangell and just last summer in 2018 at Chichagof Point where it appears she could have had a juvenile of her own that was suckling from her. That would be great if she is having her own pups now. She would be about 7 years old last summer when we saw her and often time sea lions will have their first pup at around 5 years of age.

Keep an eye out for ~38 and let us know if you see her with a pup! Also, anyone seeing her back at her birthplace, Gillon Point?


We will share the story of one marked sea lion each month. Be sure to check our Sea Lion of the Month page on the 1st 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 nomination forum. Thank you all for your nominations! 

November 1st: >38

Sea Lion of the Month

 

^38_20170629_2_resize.JPGWe’re back from our summer field season and our Sea Lion of the Month for November is an animal that we saw during our research cruise! This month’s featured sea lion is >38 and I suspect you will see him on Steller Watch images, if you haven’t already. This female was marked at Hasgox Point on Ulak Island  on July 2, 2013 which makes her 5 years old! When she was marked she weighed about 76 pounds (34.6 kg) and was just over 3.5 feet (111 cm) long and almost 2.5 feet (76 cm) around his torso, just below his flippers. She was a pretty healthy sized pup and when we saw her this summer, still looked healthy.

 

SLM_extent.pngThis sea lion has been seen at Hasgox Point by scientists during each of the research cruises since she was marked in 2013. This means you have probably seen her in images from Ulak Island! Our observation of her during the 2018 cruise was an amazing milestone, she had her first pup (as far as we know)! It’s pretty exciting to see this sea lion grow up and now have a pup. Hopefully we see her again next year with another pup. Let us know in the Talk forum if you see her in the Steller Watch images!

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This is >38 observed by scientists in 2014 when she was a 1 year old!

Curious about other pinnipeds (seals and sea lions)? Check out our neighbors in the Pacific Islands to the south, the monk seals of the Northwest Hawaiian Islands. The Pacific Island Fisheries Science Center features their own Monk Seal of the Month!


We will share the story of one marked sea lion each month. Be sure to check our Sea Lion of the Month page on the 1st 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 nomination forum. Thank you all for your nominations!