Vancouver Island Tourism Vancouver Island Hotels Steller sea lions’ low-frequency vocalizations closer to a roar compared to California sea lions’ vocalizations, which sound more like a bark. We recently moved to Parksville and this was a real treat to hear them and only a 5 minute drive down to the marina to see them. In Canada, marine mammals are legally protected by the Fisheries Act and the Species at Risk Act — and the status of Steller sea lions are considered “special concern.” The eastern stock goes to Russia and Japan, while the western stock is from California to Alaska. There is a rumour that they may be still in their pack and now located across from the French Creek Marina. Steller sea lions can feed alone or in groups of up to 100 if feeding on schooling fish. Four headless sea lions were found on Vancouver Island in 2013, and at least 12 seal carcasses were found on the banks of the St. Lawrence in Quebec in 2014, the CBC reported. The front flippers are longer and wider than the rear and provide the primary propulsion. Steller sea lions are the most common sea lion on Vancouver Island and numbers are estimated close to 25,000 in British Columbia. Last updated June, 2020. All Rights Reserved, things to do with kids on vancouver island, The Magnificient Rosewall Creek Falls - Vancouver Island View, Exploring Parksville’s Best Parks and Trails, Exploring Parksville's Best Parks and Trails, The Ultimate Vancouver Island Bucket List. I am sure they are glad the sea lions moved on. Yearly Sea Lion Migration in Vancouver Island City. You can’t wonder into the middle of a pack of buffalo on the Serengeti plains. Located on the Eastern most coast of Vancouver Island between Parksville and Courtney (on Hwy 19A – or the “Oceanside Route”), Fanny Bay is a sleepy little village more known for the delicious oysters that come out of the waters of Baynes Sound. In British Columbia they feed on herring, salmon, sand lance, pilchards, hake, cephalopods, rock fish and dogfish (small sharks). A third population in the Sea of Japan became extinct, probably during World War II. Oh, shoot! Tell us proposals, you are interested in: Farmers Markets/Products on Vancouver Island, Steller Sea Lions vs California Sea Lions. © Copyright 2020 - Vancouver Island View. Bulls (adult males) become sexually mature from 3 and 8 years of age but they can usually only hold a territory successfully until 9 or 10 years old when they are large enough. Renowned as one of the world’s best cold-water dives, Vancouver Island has clear water, a great climate, miles of coastline – and massive marine life, including leviathans such as wolf eels, sea lions and the legendary giant Pacific octopus. […]. That’s great to hear! The harvesting proposal is being made by Pacific Balance Marine Management, the group that posted the photos as … So fun! Let me know in the comments below. In 2014, at least 12 headless seal carcasses were found on the banks of the St. Lawrence in Quebec. Stellers in BC have been increasing up to 5% per year since the 1970’s and have caused concern for their role in the ecosystem and the amount of food they consume. Males typically live up to 14 years and females up to 22 years. Reproduction/Life Cycle Steller sea lions are colonial breeders where adult males establish and defend territories to mate with females and create rookeries. D. Seller assumes all responsibility for this listing. Walk to the end of the wharf and you will be in for quite a sight! I agree to get exclusive offseason deals in newsletter. Let me know if you have any questions and thanks for viewing. Thank you, I will update the article. They can be seen on all areas on Vancouver Island though you will most likely see them from a boat since they seem to hang out on isolated rocks and small islands. The CBC reported that in 2013, four decapitated sea lions were found on Vancouver Island Beaches, and in 2014, 12 seal carcasses were found at St … Are they there most of the year? Being noisy and stinky! During the drive along the inland highway there was a bit of doubt running through my mind that the Sea Lions would still be there. We stopped by Fanny Bay yesterday, and learned from a local that the fishermen got fed up with the Sea Lions (quite messy, apparently) and have chased them off. Headless sea lions have been washing up on Vancouver Island since spring, and a marine mammal expert says it's likely the animals were deliberately beheaded by humans. Where do you think the best spot is to view sea lions on Vancouver Island? As soon as the car engine is turned off you can hear their unique bark. Yes, French Creek harbour/marina is also a great place to see sea lions. Fun! DFO spokesperson Laura Sloan said fishery officers did get reports of an injured Sea Lion in Cowichan Bay and attended with the Vancouver Aquarium Wildlife Rescue Team. We return to Vancouver Island in late October to see the sea lions. There are no companies offering snorkeling tours of any kind in the Port McNeill area – only scuba diving with Sun Fun Charters. Females usually mate at 4 to 6 years of age and will most likely birth one pup each year. Further research revealed this particular area is the best spot to view sea lions on Vancouver Island! If you want to make your trek to Fanny Bay really worth while, head a bit further south to the Deep Bay Marine Field Station. However they are obviously quite at home in Fanny Bay, for I later learned that Sea Lions can be spotted here at almost any time of year. at The Best Western Dorchester, #2-70 Church St, Nanaimo, BC, Canada V9R 5H4. Although my first inclination was to wait until the weekend so that we could go as a whole family, hubby included, after looking at the dismal weather report for Saturday and Sunday, I thought to myself “why not right now”!?. While reading a local magazine, I happened to come across an article about the California Sea Lions currently ‘stationed’ in Fanny Bay. Population Trends Based on genetic analyses, areas of reproduction and local feeding areas, the global Steller sea lion population has been divided into an eastern and western stock at 144°W longitude running through the middle of the Gulf of Alaska. They can be found from California up to Alaska, however it is much more abundant in British Columbia and Alaska. Although my first inclination was to wait until the weekend so that we could go as a whole family, hubby included, after looking at the dismal weather report for Saturday and Sunday, I thought to myself “why not right now”! Vancouver Island supports black bears, cougars, wolves, elk, deer and many other mammal and bird species, both abundant and threatened in numbers. We went around 4:30pm and there were fishing boats unloading their days catches and the sea lions were very active. It is not unusual for Sea Lions to sleep 8 to 12 hours at a time. Named after naturalist Georg Wilhelm Steller, who first described them in 1741, the steller sea lion is the largest of the eared seals. They can be seen on all areas on Vancouver Island though you will most likely see them from a boat since they seem to hang out on isolated rocks and small islands. RING The Sun on 0207 782 4104 or WHATSAPP on 07423720250 or EMAIL exclusive@the-sun.co.uk It is mostly male California sea lions that spend from September to May here since the females usually stay all year in California and Oregon. The flippers are black along with other hairless parts on the body. Now with increasing western sea lions up to 5% per year, the western and eastern stocks are almost the same, though the eastern stock is increasing again as well. Bulls aggressively defend their territory and can go without eating for 1-2 months to do this. Steller Sea Lions vs California Sea Lions Anna Corridor is a marine mammal zoologist at Sea View Marine Sciences. There are large colonies of Steller’s, or Northern, Sea Lions off northern Vancouver Island, and off the southern end of Haida Gwaii, the former Queen Charlotte Islands. […] You can read more about these sea lions and how to get to the Government Wharf in our post entitled: The Best Spot to View Sea Lions on Vancouver Island. TOFINO, B.C. Wildlife Viewing Tours and Operators on Vancouver Island and BC Islands Feeding Being very opportunistic feeders, Steller sea lions take advantage of sleeping fish at night meaning they don’t have to work too hard for their catch. I had heard a rumour that they were no longer there. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Thank you so much for sharing your experience with us. She said they now hang out a ways further up the shore (but I can’t say just where that is). This is why you will most often see them lazing on the pontoons, rather than swimming in the water. A very cool experience and we grabbed some fresh caught salmon at the sea food shop in the harbour too! Body features/swimming Coloration on Stellers range from light blonde to reddish brown with slightly darker colors on its chest. Subscribe to our newsletter and get exclusive offseason deals. Review Contents: Overview. “We were unable to locate it but did perform medical care on sea lions at Race Rocks on the same patrol,” Sloan said. Every year in late fall about 300 (yes I do mean 300!) They can dive up over 300 meters and staying submerged for up to 8 minutes. There is a distinct population of California sea lions at the Galapagos Islands. Deborah Short says between March 20 … Oh wow! After such a long hiatus from diving and photography (my last was in January in the frigid waters of Vancouver Island photographing Steller sea lions), it was wonderful to be among sea lions again, in the relatively warm and calm waters San Diego typically has in late fall. Rob Bailey is your guide to Canada’s rugged island paradise Words + Photographs Rob Bailey After packing some essential snacks, and setting the tunes to our favourite driving songs, the kids and I were ready for our mini road trip to Fanny Bay. Hours. No matter how many times I see them, it just never gets old. Steller Sea Lions are some of the noisiest (never mind smelliest), marine mammals on our coastline. Headless sea lions have been reported in Canada before, including 4 in 2013 in Vancouver Island and 12 in 2014 in Quebec, on the other side of the country. Residents on Vancouver Island had spotted several headless sea lions, the Victoria Times Colonist reported back in May. The gravel parking area is easily found to the right of the Government Wharf, just off the main highway. Once I get confirmation about this, I will officially rewrite this article with the new information. Thankfully our excitement and eagerness to see the big beasts up close was warranted! Further research revealed this particular area is the best spot to view sea lions on Vancouver Island! That’s wonderful to hear, Kelly! A Nanaimo, B.C., woman is calling for a thorough investigation after a number of sea lions were found decapitated on the eastern shores of Vancouver Island. Sea-lion life should have been idyllic – basking in the sun, dozing, shagging everyone in turn, dropping into the water for an occasional swim and a feast of fresh fish. The decapitated bodies of at least five sea lions found on the shores of Vancouver Island, Canada, over the past few months hint that there may be a marine-mammal serial killer on the loose, or perhaps someone who is lopping off the heads of already dead sea lions, according to news sources.. It’s unclear how these animals died, but after looking at photos of the dead animals, Anna … — The nets of a salmon farm ensnared and drowned 51 California sea lions earlier this month, more than in all of 2006, a spokesman for the Vancouver Island fish-farm operator says. California sea lions and Steller sea lions are the two most common sea lions on Vancouver Island. The Steller Sea Lion is the largest species of sea lion in the world and certainly look (and sound!) My daughter commented on their smell. Pups are about 1 meter in length and weigh 16-22.5 kg (35-50 pounds) at birth. I made another mental tick to the ever-growing list of why I LOVE living on Vancouver Island! VANCOUVER — Headless sea lions have been washing up on Vancouver Island since spring, and a marine mammal skilled says it is seemingly the animals had been intentionally beheaded by people. 1-250-667-5177 info@vancouverislandwhalewatch.com. impressive when viewed from our boats. In 2013, four headless sea lions were found on Vancouver Island beaches. Adventuress Sea Kayaking: sea lion kayak tour - See 209 traveler reviews, 137 candid photos, and great deals for Nanoose Bay, Canada, at Tripadvisor. In 1997 and 1998, Canada authorized the killing of 52 harbor seals on Vancouver Island’s Puntledge River to protect juvenile chinook salmon migrating to sea. Steller and California Sea Lions gather in Cowichan Bay to gorge themselves on spawning salmon and bask in the sun on the breakwater. A rather large colony of Sea Lions hang out on the man-made floats just off the end of the Government Wharf. Yes, I still feel it is a treat to see them and we’ve been on the Island for almost 10 years! The beheaded sea lions are washing ashore on Vancouver Island in Canada Short has done her own investigation into the deaths and found several proposals from … Steller Sea Lions vs California Sea Lions Steller sea lions can be confused with California sea lions but the two are different in color and size. The Marine Mammal Centre says California sea lions are found as far north as Vancouver Island and as far south as Baja California in Mexico. The male, or bull, is a huge animal, with an average weight of about 700 kilograms. Not so good when you live there and have to listen to the noise all hours of the day and night, and the smell! The Sea Lions have moved on from the location mentioned below. My son held his hands over his ears at their loud bark. Then, in 2020, the United States approved a larger cull of up to 540 California sea lions and 176 Steller sea lions over five years on the lower Columbia River system. ?. California sea lions are found from Vancouver Island, British Columbia to the southern tip of Baja California in Mexico. Each winter they amass in great anticipation of the spawning herring, which happens in February. They are binge feeders, eating all they can when food is plentiful, and then rest for long periods of time. I miss the west coast. The female Stellers can be closer to the male California sea lions with a max of 450 kg (1000 lbs) but the Stellars light color contrasts the California’s dark chocolaty color. She says images of the lifeless pinnipeds recommend a sample of their accidents. All rights reserved. Sea-Lions Vancouver Island BC Unused Vintage Postcard G64. They breed mainly on offshore islands, ranging from southern California's Channel Islands south to Mexico, although a few pups have been born on Año Nuevo and the Farallon Islands in central California. Since last spring, decapitated sea lions have been seen washed up along the Vancouver Island shores and a marine mammal expert says it's likely they've been deliberately beheaded by … The Steller males max weight of 2500 lbs (1120 kg) is much larger than the male California sea lion with a max up to 400 kg (900 lbs). No, I suppose it isn’t! Steller sea lions are the largest of the 5 species of sea lion and are the fourth largest pinniped in the world behind the northern elephant seal, southern elephant seal, and walrus. Or do you get a break once in a while? Copyright 2018 © Discover Vancouver Islands. But if you too are looking to take in the wonders of California and Stellar Sea Lions, this is the place to do it! Steller Sea Lions are a honey-brown colour with large, dark brown flippers. We just stopped out at French Creek Harbour and the sea lions were still there! Females typically within 2 weeks after giving birth. They are entertaining as they growl and roar as they challenge other males for space on the rocks. I, however, was awestruck by the sight of them lazing in the faint Spring sunlight looking like a pile of fat kings. The CBC reported that in 2013, four decapitated sea lions were found on Vancouver Island Beaches, and in 2014, 12 seal carcasses were found at St Lawrence in Quebec. For although the magazine was current, who really knows how long they stay in a particular area? Facebook Tweet Pin. But off Vancouver Island, you can get up close and personal with steller sea lions. They offer public tours, and it is a great place for family fun, and hands-on exhibits of marine life found in Baynes Sound and the Salish Sea. Then, this past week, photos of headless sea lions … Mystery as decapitated sea lions keep washing up on beaches on Vancouver Island GOT a story? National Geographic wildlife documentarian Bertie Gregory had a similar encounter when he plunged in the water to observe sea lions in their natural habitat, in the waters off Vancouver Island. That’s incredible. This item will ship to United States, but the seller has not specified shipping options. Shipping and handling. Recent widely-circulated photos of decapitated seals and sea lions have rekindled debate about a Vancouver Island commercial pinniped harvest. Learn how your comment data is processed. Mon 8am to 5pm. Her dogs bark actually changed from it’s regular little havenese bark to sounding like the sea lions. Cowichan Bay is a small little picturesque waterfront community on the southern edge of Vancouver Island’s Cowichan Valley. In the harbour of French Creek we saw about 50 Seelions lazing around!! The eastern stock was in decline up until 2000 and used to be 80% of the total stock. Some may reach 1000 kilograms, with a body length of up to three metres. But happiness is a question of temperament not circumstances, and sea lions are the Alf Garnetts of the ocean. Thanks for the tip!!! Open the door and you will smell their pungent aroma. My cousin lived just up the road from the government dock in Fanny Bay, and you could hear the sea lions day and night. I do believe that they have moved onto French Creek, but I haven’t been able to confirm this yet. Sea Otters in a raft relax in a bed of kelp on the west coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. What majestic beasts. Daily food requirement is about 15-20 kg for mature females, and 30-35 kg for mature males and about 7% of body weight. Steller sea lions are the most common sea lion on Vancouver Island and numbers are estimated close to 25,000 in British Columbia. ... Vancouver Island Whale Watch. Unlike other pinnipeds the light colors don’t change when the fur is wet. Hear their unique bark lions, the Victoria Times Colonist reported back in may the magazine was,! 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