[MARMAM] New paper on Steller sea lion historical abundance and distribution along Asian coast

Vladimir Burkanov (NMML) Vladimir.Burkanov at noaa.gov
Mon Apr 2 17:40:29 PDT 2007

Dear colleagues,

We are pleased to inform you that large review on Steller sea lion
historical abundance and distribution along Asian Pacific coast are finally
published and available in pdf format (19.5 MB) at
http://spo.nmfs.noaa.gov/mfr672/mfr672.html Reprints are available on
request by email: Vladimir.Burkanov at noaa.gov




BURKANOV, V. N. and T. R. LOUGHLIN. 2007. Distribution and Abundance of
Steller Sea Lions on the Asian Coast, 1720's - 2005. Marine Fisheries Review
67(2): 1-62.


ABSTRACT-We analyzed published and archived records for the past 250 years
to assess changes in distribution and abundance of Steller sea lions,
Eumetopias jubatus, along the Asian coast from the Bering Strait to the
Korean Peninsula. We found that the northern extent of Steller sea lion
distribution has not changed but that the southern limit has moved north by
some 500-900 km (~300-500 n.mi.) over the past 50 years. Additionally, the
number of animals and their distribution has changed on the Commander
Islands, Kuril Islands, and Kamchatka Peninsula. We found no changes in the
number of rookeries in the northern Sea of Okhotsk, but a new rookery was
established at Tuleny Island on the eastern coast of Sakhalin Island. We
estimate that the total abundance of Steller sea lions along the Asian coast
in the late 19th century was about 115,000 animals; during the 1960's, the
total estimate was about 27,000 (including pups), most of which were in the
Kuril Islands. The fewest number of Steller sea lions occurred in the
northwestern Pacific in the late 1980's-early 1990's when only about 13,000
individuals (including pups) were estimated in the entire region. During the
1990's, and especially in early 2000, an increasing trend in abundance
occurred in most areas. Present estimated abundance of Steller sea lions in
Asia is about 16,000 individuals (including about 5,000 pups), about half of
which occur in the Kuril Islands. Changes in abundance occurred during all
time periods but varied by site and period. Specifically, over the past 150
years Steller sea lion abundance at most sites has changed. There were no
rookeries on the Commander Islands between 1850 and 1960 and abundance was
low, but by 1977, abundance increased to 4,800 individuals and a rookery was
established in the mid 1980's; abundance there has declined since the early
1980's and in 2004 only 895 individuals (including 221 pups) were counted
during the breeding season. Between 1940 and 2004, abundance along the
eastern coast of Kamchatka declined from ~7,000 to ~600 individuals, an
overall reduction of 90%. Steller sea lion abundance on the Kuril Islands
declined by >90% from the 1800's to 2005; the most severe decline there
occurred during 1969-1981. Steller sea lion numbers in the northern part of
the Sea of Okhotsk declined during 1930-2002 from 7,200 to 3,100
individuals. Numbers at Tuleny Island have increased since establishment of
a rookery there during 1983-2005 and by immigration from other sites.



Vladimir N. Burkanov, Ph.D.
Natural Resources Consultants, Inc.
National Marine Mammal Laboratory, NMFS, NOAA
7600 Sand Point Way, NE
Building 4.
Seattle, WA 98115
Tel. 206-526-4298, Fax. 206-526-6615

"The contents of this message are mine personally and do not necessarily
reflect any position of the Government or the National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration."



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