The ocean covers seven tenths of the planet yet much of it remains unexplored. In the Oceans episode, we join David Attenborough on a journey through the vast and changing ocean to reveal the extraordinary behaviours and remarkable adaptations required for life to survive.Sea Lions facts
Habitats of South American Sea Lions
- There are six species of sea lion, from which you can find two of them in South America; South American sea lion (Otaria flavescens) and Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki)
- Sea lions live both on land and in the sea.
- They rest and mate on rocky shores or sandy beaches, and they hunt and cool off in the ocean during warm weather.
- Unlike seals, sea lions don’t live in polar regions.
- Sea lions feed on a variety of foods; fish (anchovies, herring, salmon, rockfish, and hake), squid and octopus.
- They are also prey, however, and serve as an important food source for large animals like great white sharks, hammerhead sharks, blue sharks, and killer whales.
- Sea lions (left) are brown, bark loudly, "walk" on land using their large flippers and have visible ear flaps. Seals have small flippers, wriggle on their bellies on land, and lack visible ear flaps.
South American sea lions, are found along the coasts and off-shore islands of South America from Zorritos in northern Peru to Ilha dos Lobos in southern Brazil, also they have been found as far north as Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands.
The total population is estimated at 265,000; spread across Peru, Uruguay, Argentina, all the way to the Falkland Islands, and a few hundred in Brazil originating from the Uruguayan and Argentinean colonies. The populations in Uruguay and the Falkland Islands are decreasing while those in Argentina and Chile are increasing by 3% annually. The main reasons are competition with fishing fleets and victims of bycatch and climate change on sea currents which impacts fish abundance.
The Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki), is native to the islands of the Galapagos and some parts of Isla de la Plata off of mainland Ecuador.