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South American Sea Lion (Otaria flavescens).

Regional Aggregations of the South American Sea Lion (Otaria flavescens).

References. Green dots: colonies or breeding aggregations, and the percentage of the world population that each area represents. Blue text: those populations for which the Atlas provides distribution data. Red text: populations for which there are no data. Blue circle: colonies of origin of individuals studied with remote tracking devices.

The distribution of the South American Sea Lion is restricted to waters of the continental shelf and the slope. Males of the Peninsula Valdes colony travel further than the females, reaching as far as the edge of the slope.

Data on 22 adults from Valdes Peninsula: 2 males in spring (Period: November-December, start of the breeding season) and 20 females in summer (Period: January-March, lactation and caring for young).

Dataholders: C. Campagna and R. Wilson.

Data is available on just one animal during the southern summer. However, the information would appear to indicate that females on the Malvinas Islands, as those on the coast of continental Patagonia, feed in waters close to the breeding aggregation.

Data on one adult female from the Malvinas Islands. Period: February-March.

Dataholder: D. Thompson.

© Eugenia Zavattieri
© Eugenia Zavattieri Breeding aggregations
Feeding areas (Valdes Pla.)
Feeding areas (Malvinas)

South American Sea Lion
Otaria flavescens

Location of the Regional Aggregations: Coastal and insular aggregations in South America are distributed from Brazil to the north of Peru.

Diet: They generally feed on fish, crustaceans and cephalopod caught in relatively shallow waters near the aggregations.

World breeding population: 150,000 to 250,000 estimated for South America. This is one of the most numerous marine mammals in the Patagonian Sea.

Conservation Status: Least concern (IUCN, 2008).

Main threats: Its principal threats come from the activity of fisheries. Besides competing for resources, they are affected by incidental mortality or by being caught in fishing gear, and very frequently they are the target of gunfire by fishermen. The El Niño events also have a negative impact on the populations of the Pacific.