Sea Lion Notes from Race Rocks

ER Warden’s Report by G. Fletcher.

On December 28, 2013  I was out at Race Rocks doing the Christmas Bird Count. While there I made several observations concerning the Northern and California Sea lions. There are only a few California sea lions left after the heavy influx of the fall. The number of Northerns on the South island is still fairly high ( over 100)

sealionhouse On the  November 28 log there were still 479 Stellars and 555 Californias. This image taken in the fall, shows how much they came up near the houses where there wasn’t an electric fence to repel them:

The vegetation of the areas on both sides of the island were heavily impacted by the sea lions this fall.  In the following images those areas that are now brown are  normally green.


North East of Ecoguardian’s residence


South of the Marine Education House

I observed from the tower an unusual behaviour shown in the image below. It is not unusual in that the California Sea Lions are rafting. What is unusual is that Northern sea lions flank them on both sides without having their fins raised out of the water.


Be sure to click for a large image of sea lion rafting