2010 Surveys of Steller Sea Lions in Alaska
Photographic surveys of adult, juvenile, and pup steller sea lions in Alaska conducted in Summer 2010.
NOAA Fisheries conducted surveys in summer 2010 to assess abundance, trends, and distribution of Steller sea lions (Eumetopias jubatus) in Alaska. An aerial photographic survey to assess adult and juvenile (non-pup) sea lions was conducted from southeast Alaska through Amchitka Pass in the Aleutian Islands from June 7 to July 3, 2010 using a NOAA Twin Otter aircraft. A second aerial survey was conducted from July 10–13, 2010 from the southwestern tip of the Kenai Peninsula through southeast Alaska to obtain a replicate, ‘late’ non-pup count to assess movement between the threatened eastern and endangered western distinct population segments (DPSs, or stocks) during the breeding season. An additional objective during the aerial surveys was to estimate pup production at sites surveyed at least 10 days after the mean sea lion birth date (which ranges between June 4–14 in Alaska). NOAA Fisheries also counted pups and non-pups (on-site counts) at five rookeries and haulouts in the western Aleutian Islands on June 22–24 and counted pups at the Walrus Island rookery (near the Pribilof Islands in the Bering Sea) on 16 July using the U.S. FWS RV Tiĝlâx.