Kenai Fjords National Park: Stellar Sea Lions


Kenai Fjords National Park offers an amazing abundance of wildlife viewing. Marine mammals are no exception.

Stellar Sea Lions Kenai Fjords National Park Alaska
Sea Lions ahead
Stellar Sea Lion colony Kenai Fjords National Park Alaska
Stellar Sea Lion colony

The Stellar Sea Lion (Eumetopias Jubatus) is the largest of the eared seals. These things are truly massive!

Male Stellar Sea lion alaska
A big male Stellar Sea Lion
Stellar Sea Lion colony Kenai Fjords National Park Alaska
Some commotion in the ranks of the colony
Stellar Sea Lion colony Kenai Fjords National Park Alaska
The big males keep a respectful distance from each other
Stellar Sea Lion colony Kenai Fjords National Park Alaska
Relaxing

A female is about seven feet in length and weighs about 279 kg / 600 pounds. Males are much bigger at around nine feet in length and anywhere between 680 kg / 1,500 pounds to 1090 kg / 2,400 pounds in weight! They are impressive on land and in the water.

Stellar Sea Lion colony Kenai Fjords National Park Alaska
Stellar Sea Lions return to land in summer to breed and raise their young
Stellar Sea Lion colony Kenai Fjords National Park Alaska
Males and females can be seen in this rookery
Stellar Sea Lion colony Kenai Fjords National Park Alaska
Males are much larger than the females
Stellar Sea Lion colony Kenai Fjords National Park Alaska
Quite a big colony

The Stellar Sea Lion lives across the North Pacific region from Japan to Alaska and down to central California. Apart from summer when they come ashore to breed, they spend most of their time at sea. Thus they are extremely strong swimmers and Males have been tracked from the coast of California to the Bering Sea some 6,437 km / 4000 miles away! Despite their size they still have to show caution as they are hunted as prey by both the Orca and Salmon Shark.

Stellar Sea Lion colony Kenai Fjords National Park Alaska
Note these ones are numbered by the NPS to keep track of them
Stellar Sea Lion colony Kenai Fjords National Park Alaska
A male and his harem
Stellar Sea Lion colony Kenai Fjords National Park Alaska
The colony is a busy place

I was observing this colony far out in the national park from a tour boat. They were generally lazing about, but then a big male started to cause some commotion. Then a number started to head for the sea. Good to see them in action so to speak.

Stellar Sea Lion colony Kenai Fjords National Park Alaska
Time for a swim?
Stellar Sea Lion colony Kenai Fjords National Park Alaska swimming
Females take to the water

I know it’s better to see them in the wild but if you want to get an up close idea of how big the Stellar Sea Lion really is, don’t miss going to the Alaska SeaLife Centre in Seward. They have a big male there that is pushing the top end of the scale for sure!

Stellar Sea Lion - Alaska Sealife Centre
One big boy! Stellar Sea Lion – Alaska Sealife Centre
Stellar Sea Lion Alaska Sealife Centre Seward
One big boy!
Advertisements

7 Comments Add yours

  1. Into the mild says:

    Charming creatures, until you live near the ocean and the entire colony is on the beach barking during your morning off.

    1. Deano says:

      The smell is not so pleasant either!

  2. Girl Gone Expat says:

    The steller sea lions are really some giants! They were were cool to watch! But I can still remember the smell:) hehe

    1. Deano says:

      yes its a unique aroma indeed!

      1. Girl Gone Expat says:

        That’s a nice way of putting it:)

      2. Deano says:

        I was in a boat off a seal colony in South Africa with tens of thousands of them. Now that’s a stench that will outlast religion!

  3. Girl Gone Expat says:

    (stellar) Nice shots of the colony by the way!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s