Saturday, 21 April 2012

Sea Lions May Be Removed from Endangered Species List

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is proposing to delist the eastern Steller sea lion, found along the West Coast between Alaska and California, from the Endangered Species List after its biologists found that the species is making the necessary gains in population numbers.
The eastern population of Steller sea lions (Eumetopias jubatus), which ranges from Cape Suckling in Alaska to the Channel Islands off the coast of Southern California, is currently listed as "threatened" on the Endangered Species List.

Steller sea lions, the largest of the eared seals, were first added to the Endangered Species List in 1990 because of steep declines in their population; humans who felt the animals were eating their fishing catch shot them. Outreach and education has largely stopped the shootings, according to a NOAA statement.

There were about 34,000 eastern Steller sea lions in 1997. Estimates from 2010 put the population at about 70,000 individuals.

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