• Scenic View from Inspiration Point, Anacapa Island ©timhaufphotography.com

    Channel Islands

    National Park California

There are park alerts in effect.
show Alerts »
  • Public Closures on Anacapa Island

    Certain trails are temporarily closed on Anacapa Island to all public entry for the protection of breeding western gulls. More »

  • Public Closures on Santa Barbara Island

    Certain Santa Barbara Island trails are closed to all public entry to proctect breeding populations of California brown pelicans and western gulls. More »

  • San Miguel Island Closure

    In the interest of public safety, the U.S. Navy is closing San Miguel Island until further notice due to recent concerns of possible unexploded ordnance. More »

A Banner Year for Sea Lions on the Channel Islands

Subscribe RSS Icon | What is RSS
Date: August 11, 2011
Contact: Yvonne Menard, 805-658-5725

On September 14, 2011, Dr. Sharon Melin, a distinguished wildlife biologist with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), will discuss the life history of California sea lions as they transition from playful pups to resourceful predators.

Over 100,000 California sea lions, the largest breeding colony in the world, are located on San Miguel Island within Channel Islands National Park. This unique island offers the undisturbed habitat needed for breeding and rearing of pups, as well as access to plentiful food sources. This year over 27,000 sea lion pups were born on the island.

In her current research Melin is focusing on the factors that influence the local pinniped population, such as El Nino events, climate change, disease, contaminants, and competition for resources. According to Melin, this type of long-term study provides the necessary scientific basis to address the challenges faced in the conservation and management of these species into the 21st century.

Melin is a research biologist with the NMFS California Current Ecosystem Program in Seattle, Washington. For the past 23 years she has conducted research on the population dynamics and feeding behavior of California sea lions and northern fur seals on San Miguel Island. She received a BS in zoology and a MS in wildlife science at the University of Washington and a PhD in conservation biology from the University of Minnesota.

The “From Shore to Sea” lecture series is meant to further the understanding of current research on the Channel Islands and surrounding waters. The lectures occur at 7:00 p.m. on the second Wednesday of March, April, May, September, October, and November at the Channel Islands National Park Robert J. Lagomarsino Visitor Center, 1901 Spinnaker Drive in the Ventura Harbor. The programs are free and open to the public.

Did You Know?

1994 pygmy mammoth excavation, Santa Rosa Island

The world's most complete pygmy mammoth specimen was discovered on Santa Rosa Island in 1994. These miniature mammoths, only four to six feet tall, once roamed island grasslands and forests during the Pleistocene.