Category

Sea Lion

Sea Lions of Santa Barbara Island

Sea Lion

Santa Barbara Island Sea Lions

Santa Barbara Island, part of Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, is home to a large population of California sea lions (Zalophus californianus). Since Santa Barbara Island lies only 38 miles off the coast of Southern California, it is possible to visit the island by boat and dive there. Diving with sea lions is lots of fun, and the best opportunities I have had to dive with sea lions in the United States have been at Santa Barbara Island. If you like these you can see more of my stock photos of California sea lions.

California sea lions, socializing/resting, Webster Point rookery, Santa Barbara Island, Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, Zalophus californianus

California sea lions, socializing/resting, Webster Point rookery, Santa Barbara Island, Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary.
Image ID: 06284
Species: California sea lion, Zalophus californianus
Location: Santa Barbara Island, California, USA

California sea lions, underwater at Santa Barbara Island.  Santa Barbara Island, 38 miles off the coast of southern California, is part of the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary and Channel Islands National Park.  It is home to a large population of sea lions, Zalophus californianus

California sea lions, underwater at Santa Barbara Island. Santa Barbara Island, 38 miles off the coast of southern California, is part of the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary and Channel Islands National Park. It is home to a large population of sea lions.
Image ID: 23422
Species: California sea lion, Zalophus californianus
Location: Santa Barbara Island, California, USA

The smallest of the California Channel Islands, Santa Barbara Island is only one square mile in size. Formed by underwater volcanic activity, Santa Barbara Island is roughly triangular in outline and emerges from the ocean as a twin-peaked mesa with steep cliffs. In 1602, explorer Sebastian Vizcaino named Santa Barbara Island in honor of the saint whose day is December 4th, the day he arrived. Today, visitors can camp and hike on the island under the management of the National Park Service, and boaters visit the island for fishing, kayaking and scuba diving.

The rocky shores of Santa Barbara Island provide resting and breeding areas for California sea lions, harbor seals and northern elephant seals. These marine mammals feed in the rich kelp forests surrounding the island. The raucous barking of the sea lions can be heard from most areas of the island. On land these animals appear ungainly, but underwater they are agile and quick. Nothing is better than being mobbed by a dozen or more young sea lions, curiously nibbling on dive equipment and leaving contrails of bubbles in their wake as they speed by.

California sea lion, underwater at Santa Barbara Island.  Santa Barbara Island, 38 miles off the coast of southern California, is part of the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary and Channel Islands National Park.  It is home to a large population of sea lions, Zalophus californianus

California sea lion, underwater at Santa Barbara Island. Santa Barbara Island, 38 miles off the coast of southern California, is part of the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary and Channel Islands National Park. It is home to a large population of sea lions.
Image ID: 23418
Species: California sea lion, Zalophus californianus
Location: Santa Barbara Island, California, USA

California sea lion, Webster Point rookery, Zalophus californianus, Santa Barbara Island

California sea lion, Webster Point rookery.
Image ID: 03803
Species: California sea lion, Zalophus californianus
Location: Santa Barbara Island, California, USA

Keywords: Santa Barbara Island, California sea lion, Zalophus californianus.

Sea Lion Entangled in Monofiliment Line

Environmental Problems, Monterey, Sea Lion

This California sea lion (Zalophus californianus) has a severe neck laceration caused by what is likely monofiliment fishing line wrapped around its neck and digging into its skin. Monofiliment fishing line is an exceptionally thin and strong type of synthetic line used for sportfishing. Given that it is designed to be nearly invisible in the water (so the fish do not see it), it is easy to imagine how a passing sea lion, turtle or diving seabird might become tangled in it were the animal unfortunate enough to encounter abandoned monofiliment line in the water. Abandoned fishing line? Absolutely! Fisherman often simply cut their lines if they are unable to clear a snagged line. The abandoned line will last hundreds of years in the water, waiting there to entangle whatever that it comes in contact with. Such line is quite thin and consequently cuts easily into even the tough hides of sea lions. And it is strong, meant to withstand the pull of strong gamefish, so it will not easily give way even if the sea lion were to somehow gain purchase on it and try to break it. Instead, the monofiliment line will slowly, steadily cut into the sea lion’s flesh, eventually causing the animal to suffer from suffocation, starvation or infection.

California sea lion, with monofiliment cut, Zalophus californianus, Monterey

California sea lion, with monofiliment cut.
Image ID: 00958
Species: California sea lion, Zalophus californianus
Location: Monterey, California, USA

Appearances nothwithstanding, this sea lion was simply dozing and had been awake and alert minutes before this photo. However, the injury it is experiencing clearly has the potential for infection. I did not see this sea lion again so do not know if it was rescued and rehabilitated or ?

See more photos of California sea lions (Zalophus californianus).

Photo of La Jolla Sea Lions

California, La Jolla, Photo of the Day, Sea Lion, Wildlife

There is a big spawning aggregation of market squid assembled on the sand flats at about 60′ off of La Jolla Shores beach right now. As a consequence, many California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) are now in the area, feeding on the squid and hauling out on rocks to rest when not foraging. Here are a couple seen recently in La Jolla:

Sea lion portrait, hauled out on rocks beside the ocean, Zalophus californianus, La Jolla, California

Sea lion portrait, hauled out on rocks beside the ocean.
Image ID: 20207
Species: California sea lion, Zalophus californianus
Location: La Jolla, California, USA

California sea lion, adult male, Zalophus californianus, La Jolla

California sea lion, adult male.
Image ID: 20211
Species: California sea lion, Zalophus californianus
Location: La Jolla, California, USA

Photos of Sea Lions in La Jolla

California, La Jolla, Photo of the Day, Sea Lion, Wildlife

La Jolla is well known for its population of harbor seals (Phoca vitulina richardsi), but it boasts California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) as well. When the movable feast of market squid (Loligo opalescens) arrives to lay its carpets of eggs on the edge of the undersea La Jolla Canyon, California sea lions as well as cormorants, sharks and rays arrive as well to eat the squid, which die after mating and laying eggs. These sea lions were perched on some rocks near the La Jolla Caves, sunning themselves between squid foraging sessions in February this year.

California sea lion, adult female, Zalophus californianus, La Jolla

California sea lion, adult female.
Image ID: 18538
Species: California sea lion, Zalophus californianus
Location: La Jolla, California, USA

California sea lion, adult male, Zalophus californianus, La Jolla

California sea lion, adult male.
Image ID: 18545
Species: California sea lion, Zalophus californianus
Location: La Jolla, California, USA

California sea lion, adult female, Zalophus californianus, La Jolla

California sea lion, adult female.
Image ID: 18539
Species: California sea lion, Zalophus californianus
Location: La Jolla, California, USA

See also sea lion photos and harbor seal photos. If you were looking for La Jolla seals, try here instead.

California Sea Lions, Baja California

Islas Coronado, Mexico, Sea Lion

Each winter California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) gather in the hundreds on the rock slopes of North Coronado Island, just south of the US/Mexico border. The bottom diving is unremarkable here the remainder of the year, but when the sea lions are gathered in such numbers it is worth making the short boat trip for a dive with them.

California sea lions, hauled out at rookery/colony, Baja California, Zalophus californianus

California sea lions, hauled out at rookery/colony, Baja California.
Image ID: 05042
Species: California sea lion, Zalophus californianus

Keywords: California sea lion photo, rookery, colony, Zalophus californianus, Coronado Islands, Islas Coronado.