Steller Sea Lions

Eumetopias Jubatus
A Steller Sea LIon in the Broughton Archipelago

Our Steller Sea Lions are the largest of the sea lion family. They weigh in at around 2000 lbs or 900 kg. Males have fur on their backs and chests; thus the name. It is believed that their long ago land ancestor is the Grizzly Bear.

It is very easy to confuse sea lions with seals. The obvious differences are their size, seals are much smaller and the sea lions have tiny ear flaps (see photo above); seals simply have an ear hole.

What they eat: mostly fish and cephalopods.

What eats them: Transient killer whales; humans hunt/cull them.

Steller Sea Lions live in colonies and form harems during breeding season. Only the strongest males breed with the females.

Their average lifespan is 20 years.

The Steller sea lion should not be confused with the California sea lion. We do not see many this far north. The California sea lion is much smaller (about 700 lbs.) and is easily trained. They are the species most often seen in theme parks.

A Steller Sea LIon in the Broughton Archipelago
June Early July Mid July End of July   Early August Mid to Late August September

Color Code

very rare
Lots of Steller Sea Lions hauled out in Johnstone Strait