Sea Lions

Stephanie Moore

Species Information

Sea Lions are currently an endangered species in the United States. If nothing is done to save these animals they are well on their way to extinction in the future. Sea Lions have some very unique adaptations that make them special. For example, they use their front and back flippers to run or walk on land. Also, they have external ear flaps giving them a better sense of hearing. Lastly, sea lions have a streamline shape which make them quicker in water. Sea Lions can be found in the northern and southern hemisphere with the exception of the Atlantic Ocean. They are most often found near shallow water where then is a good source of food. Sea Lions originally lived in the norther Pacific and have slowly moved down south.
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Threats

One threat to Sea Lions are humans and the fishing industry. They are hunted for fishery species such as the herring or anchovy. Some sea lions destroy fishing equipment resulting in getting shot or caught in nets. Parts of nets can remain around a sea lions neck and as they try to grow around the piece of net they in turn suffocate. Humans are responsible for this threat because some fishermen turn to shooting a sea lion rather than having it safely removed. This occurs basically anywhere near bodies of water that are popular for fishing.

Another threat to sea lions are sharks and whales. They are commonly preyed on and killed by these animals. Also they transmit parasitic diseases that destroy the sea lions' lungs and kidneys.

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Conservation efforts

One group that is involved is the Alaskan sea lion commission. They have been working to provide funding for more research for marine biology. They also provide funding for the management of these animals. Currently, laws are in the process of being passed for the hunting of sea lions. Groups like the Alaskan sea lion commission are working to prevent these laws from being passed. Fishermen want the right to shoot sea lions if them damage fishing equipment or are in the way.
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Impact

Sea lions are a key part in maintaining a good biodiversity in the marine life. Sea lions are known to replenish nutrients back into the soil in water and create a healthier environment for other species. The easiest way to help is very simple. When you buy a package of cans that are connected with plastic rings keeping them together, instead of instantly throwing it out, cut the circle so that its open. This would eliminate a chance of it getting caught around the neck of a sea lion and harming them.
Sea lions surfing! BBC wildlife