Protecting and enhancing the natural values of Salt Spring Island and its surrounding waters


California Sea Lion

California Sea Lion

California Sea Lion Zalophus californianus

The California Sea Lion is smaller and darker than the Steller Sea lion. Adult males are about 2 – 2.5 meters (6.5 – 8 ft) long and weigh 200 – 400 kg (450 – 900 lbs). Pups weigh about 8 kg (18 lbs) at birth and may nurse for up to a year. The pelage is usually dark brown and appears almost black when wet. Mature males deelop a patch of light coloured fur on the crest of their heads. Male California Sea Lion’s feed in BC’s waters from October to April, while the females remain in California with their young. These sea lions eat mainly schooling fish like herring and about 10% of their diet is salmon.

Photo by US Fish & Wildlife Service