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Tag archives for sea lions

Fate of Small Species Has Huge Implications for Our Ocean

When most of us think of the ocean, we think big: It covers 71 percent of our planet, dictates our weather, and is home to the tallest mountain and deepest canyon on the planet, as well as the largest animal, the blue whale.

And yet the ocean relies on its smallest inhabitants, from the phytoplankton and zooplankton that underpin the food web to forage fish, species like sardines, herring, and anchovy that are often referred to as baitfish.

In recent years, numbers of some forage fish species have declined dramatically, causing a food shortage for a vast array of marine animals. The Pacific marine ecosystem, including right here in the San Francisco Bay, is already suffering the consequences, with well-publicized accounts of starving sea lion pups and brown pelican breeding failures among the most visible evidence.

What Drives a California Woman to Save Starving Sea Lions? The answer may help scientists save our seas.

The emaciated seven-month-old sea lion pup was cowering in the bushes along the coast north of San Francisco in a driving, cold rain when Sue Hawley gingerly approached. Hawley put on gloves, grabbed a towel, tiptoed toward the brush, and reached in to pull out the scared animal. As she gripped firmly under its flippers,…

Best Job Ever: Mapping “California’s Galápagos”

Cartographers and National Geographic grantees Marty Schnure and Ross Donihue traveled to the little-known Farallon National Wildlife Refuge to document the scientists who live there and to create an interactive digital map to allow the public to explore the islands from afar. The Farallon National Wildlife Refuge is closed to public access to protect this…

Partnering with CIMWI to Rescue and Rehab Malnourished Sea Lions

 The following is a blog post by Kurt Heizmann, Assistant Supervisor of Sea Lions and Birds of Prey at Shedd Aquarium, about his experience helping rescue and rehabilitate California sea lions. As part of Shedd Aquarium’s ongoing commitment to lending our expertise to animal rescue organizations in need, our animal care team was more than willing…

Life in the Gulf of California Hope Spot

The Gulf of California, a 700-mile narrow sea between Baja and mainland Mexico, is home to over 800 species of fish, 2000 invertebrates, as well as whales, dolphins, sea turtles and sea lions. The area includes 256,000 hectares of mangroves, 600,000 hectares of wetlands and 70 percent of Mexican fisheries. Simply put, this area is one of…

Marine Mammals Along California Coast Rescued in Record Numbers

As a leader in rescue and rehabilitation work, Shedd Aquarium has established partnerships with rescue organizations all over the country to respond to animals in need. This week, we are sharing a guest blog post from our partner – The Marine Mammal Center, the world’s largest rescue and rehabilitation hospital for sick, injured and orphaned…

Big Things Come from Small Beginnings: The Mystery of the Sick Sea Lions

  On a cold, foggy morning along the Malibu coast, a small brown lump emerges from the sea and waddles ashore. I spot it from 100 yards away, but already my dog, Cooper, is at a full run toward the baby sea lion. I scream at him to stop, but it’s too late: The thin,…

Galapagos Expedition Journal: Swimming with Sea Lions

This is the second post in my account of a ten-day exploration of the Galapagos, on board the National Geographic Endeavour. In the first post, I described our arrival on the island of San Cristobal and our first visit to a Galapagos beach. You can read all posts for this expedition here.   We awoke on the…

Galapagos Expedition Journal: Arrival on the Enchanted Islands

Bewitched, enchanted, beguiling. Those are just some of the terms explorers across five centuries have used to describe the Galapagos, an unmatched archipelago of islands drifting in the vastness of the open ocean, in the middle of nowhere.