Migration patterns of adult male California sea lions (Zalophus californianus)
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Migration patterns of adult male California sea lions (Zalophus californianus)
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    The migration and movement patterns of male California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) were investigated to determine the timing and distance of the migration. Nine adult male sea lions were instrumented with satellite-linked instruments in Puget Sound, Washington, before the southbound migration between 1995 and 2000. Eight migrated to rookeries off southern California, and one remained at a haul-out site in Oregon. The southbound migrations were generally inshore, within 5-20 km of the coast, over the continental shelf and averaged 25 days in duration. The mean distance traveled during the southbound migration was 2,027 km. Maximum 1 day travel distances for individual sea lions ranged from 119 to 235 km. All of the sea lions stopped 2-5 times at haul-out sites along the migration route, presumably to rest, and spent 1-2 days at each site before resuming their migration. One complete and one partial northbound migration track were also logged. The complete northbound track covered 1,940 km and took 30 days including stops at haul-out sites. Diving data indicated that sea lions were actively feeding during both north and south migrations. Most dives (83%) during the migration were less than 50 m deep and less than 2 minutes in duration. Maximum dive depths were 475 m and maximum duration was >13 minutes. [doi:10.7289/V5/TM-AFSC-346 (http://dx.doi.org/10.7289/V5/TM-AFSC-346)]
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