Thursday, 19 January 2012

Killer Whales Targeting Sea Lion Pups, Alarming Scientists

Killer whales and other ocean predators are targeting and killing the pups of a threatened northern sea lion species at an increasingly high rate, scientists warned this week.

Without a reduction in predators, the sea lion population will have difficulty recovering, the researchers added.

Endangered eared seals

The researchers focused on the endangered western population of the Steller sea lions (Eumetopias jubatus), which is the largest member of the eared seals family. The population has declined by 80 percent from its peak about four decades ago.

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