Marine Mammal Science & Conservation

South American sea lion

South American sea lion (Otaria flavescens)

Group formation: Gregarious 10->100, male territories during breeding

Size: males 2.7 m, females 2 m, calf 75-85 cm

Weight: males 350 kg, females 150 kg, calf 11-15 kg

Age: 20 yrs

Sexual maturity: males 6 yrs, females 4 yrs

Gestation: 12 mths

Weaning: 12 mths

Diet: variety of fish species, including Argentine hake and anchovies, cephalopods, such as shortfin squid, Patagonian squid, and octopus, can prey on penguins, pelicans, and young South American fur seals predators: sharks, killer whales

Distribution: along the coast of South America, in Brazil; Chile; Falkland Islands (Malvinas); Peru; Uruguay

Chile: there are many colonies inside the fjords of Aysen and are a common sight, there are conflicts with salmon farms

Population size: 250 000

Conservation Status: Least Concern ver 3.1, Pop. trend: stable

Threats: Illegal catches (especially around aquaculture), habitat degradation, chemical and plastic pollution, entanglement in fishing gear, bycatch, over fishing, captivity