2012 Results of Steller Sea Lion Surveys in Aleutian Islands Alaska

April 26, 2012

Land-based and aerial surveys of Steller sea lions (Eumetopias jubatus) in the western Aleutian Islands (W ALEU) in Alaska were conducted by the Alaska Ecosystem Program (AEP), National Marine Mammal Laboratory (NMML), Alaska Fisheries Science Center (AFSC) in June 2012 (Figure 1). Landbased surveys (cliff counts of adult and juvenile (non-pup) sea lions and a ground count of live pups approximately 1 month old) were conducted at Buldir Island and at Cape Sabak, Agattu Island by AEPNMML aboard the USFWS RV Tiglax on 26-27 June 2012, while aerial surveys were conducted by AEP-NMML using a NOAA twin Otter aircraft on 25 June 2012. Due to persistent fog and low ceilings in the Aleutian Islands that precluded flights during most of the aerial survey period (17 June-9 July 2012), no sites east of 177°E were surveyed from the air in 2012. Survey and count methodologies in 2012 were identical to those used in 2011.