Abundance and distribution of California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) in central and northern California during 1998 and summer 1999

Lowry, Mark S. and Forney, Karin A. (2005) Abundance and distribution of California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) in central and northern California during 1998 and summer 1999. Fishery Bulletin, 103(2), pp. 331-343.

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Abstract

The abundance and distribution of California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) in central and northern California was studied to allow future evaluation of their impact on salmonids, the ecosystem, and f isheries. Abundance at-sea was estimated by using the strip transect method from a fixed-wing aircraft with a belly viewing port. Abundance on land was estimated from 126-mm-format aerial photographs of animals at haulouts between Point Conception and the California−Oregon border. The sum of these two estimates represented total abundance for central and northern California. Both types of survey were conducted in May−June 1998, September 1998, December 1998, and July 1999. A haulout survey was conducted in July 1998. The greatest number of sea lions occurred near Monterey Bay and San Francisco Bay for all surveys. Abundance was high in central and northern California in 1998 when warm water from the 1997−98 El Niño affected the region and was low in July 1999 when cold water La Niña conditions were prevalent. At-sea abundance estimates in central and northern California ranged from 12,232 to 40,161 animals, and haulout abundance was 13,559 to 36,576 animals. Total abundance of California sea lions in central and northern California was estimated as 64,916 in May−June 1998, 75,673 in September 1998, 56,775 in December 1998, and 25,791 in July 1999. The proportion of total abundance to animals hauled-out for the four complete surveys ranged from 1.77 to 2.13, and the mean of 1.89 was used to estimate a total abundance of 49,697 for July 1998. This multiplier may be applicable in the future to estimate total abundance of California sea lions off central and northern California if only the abundance of animals at haulout sites is known.

Item Type: Article
Title: Abundance and distribution of California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) in central and northern California during 1998 and summer 1999
Personal Creator/Author:
CreatorsEmail
Lowry, Mark S.
Forney, Karin A.
Refereed: Yes
Journal or Publication Title: Fishery Bulletin
Volume: 103
Number: 2
Page Range: pp. 331-343
Date: 2005
ISSN: 0090-0656
Issuing Agency: United States National Marine Fisheries Service
Subjects: Biology
Ecology
Fisheries
Item ID: 9618
Depositing User: Patti M. Marraro
Date Deposited: 03 Aug 2012 14:28
Last Modified: 03 Aug 2012 14:28
URI: http://aquaticcommons.org/id/eprint/9618

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