It looks like another bad spring for sea lions, especially in Southern California, although we’re also seeing some signs along the Central California coast. This spring thousands of sea lions, mostly youngsters, that are weak and undernourished are showing up on California beaches. Rescue centers are overwhelmed. According to NOAA, for the month of January 2015, California sea lion strandings are over five times the average rate when compared to previous records.
The cause for this year’s strandings is unknown at this time, but during a similar 2013 event, the cause was attributed to the lack of available prey, mostly fishes.
Here’s information from a previous blog post if you want to report a sick, weak or dying stranded sea lion, or want to support the organizations who are collecting and caring for these animals. We only hope we don’t see a repeat of the mortalities of 2013-2014.
For NOAA’s answers to questions about this year’s sea lion strandings, download their FAQ document.