From Frontiers in Zoology:
Accurate formal taxonomic designations are thought to be of critical importance for the conservation of endangered taxa. The Galapagos sea lion (GSL), being appreciated as a key element of the Galapagos marine ecosystem, has lately been listed as ‘vulnerable’ by the IUCN. To date there is, however, hardly any scientific evidence, whether it constitutes a separate entity from its abundant Californian neighbour (CSL). In this paper, we delineate the taxonomic relationships within the genus Zalophus being comprised of the Galapagos sea lion, the Californian sea lion and the already extinct Japanese sea lion (JSL). …
Based on molecular evidence we build a case for classifying the Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki), the Californian sea lion (Zalophus californianus) and the Japanese sea lion (Zalophus japonicus) as true species. As morphological characters do not necessarily fully reflect the rapid divergence on the molecular level, the study can be considered as a test case for deriving species status from molecular evidence. We further use the results to discuss the role of genetics in conservation policy for an organism that already is under the general protection of the habitat it lives in.
Galapagos kelp: here.
After several weeks of unusually high levels of sea lion strandings and high numbers of dead sea lions washing up on the beaches of Southern California, the local authorities have declared ‘An unusual mortality event’ (UME): here.
California sea lions have fully rebounded under the protection of the Marine Mammal Protection Act, with their population on the West Coast reaching carrying capacity in 2008 before unusually warm ocean conditions reduced their numbers, according to the first comprehensive population assessment of the species: here.
- Sea lion found relaxing in luxury Californian hotel (metro.co.uk)
- Sea Lion Pups Continue To Die Along Southern Californian Coast, Scientists Struggle To Find Answers [Video] (latinospost.com)
- Ronan The Dancing Sea Lion – This Seal Lion Has Rhythm (americanlivewire.com)
- Sea Lion ‘Smiles’ After Startling Man (aol.com)
- Head-Bobbing Sea Lion May Keep the Beat Better Than You (wired.com)