Map of Mortalities
The map of mortalities is based on satellite locations from the Life History Transmitter and shows locations of all mortalities detected through July of 2012. Each dot indicates a place where a juvenile Steller sea lion has died. The red dots indicate Steller sea lions that have died due to predation - most likely transient killer whales. The blue dots indicate sea lions that also died from predation, but most likely Pacific sleeper sharks. The white dots indicate insufficient information to determine a cause of death. (Click on the map to see a larger version.)
A word about studying mortalities and animal concerns:
For a scientist studying Steller sea lion mortalities, receiving news of the death of the animals we care about is bittersweet. We are never happy when an animal dies, but it is a natural part of the life cycle. We have chosen to study this part of their life cycle in hope that our results will lead to new information that can help the Steller sea lion population recover. All of our research is done under all necessary special permits (permit link) and using accepted animal care procedures. We go to great lengths to continuously optimize how we capture and work with these animals in an effort to minimize discomfort and impacts. Our research has shown that the survival of our study subjects in the wild is not altered. We do see many of our study subjects for years after we have worked with them, and they appear to do just fine. In fact, one of the first Steller sea lions to be released with an LHX implant was recently seen in good health more than five years after its release. For more information see Telemetry on Wild Sea Lions.