GALÁ­PA­GOS SEA LION

Scuba Diver Australasia + Ocean Planet - - Inspirational Images Of 25 Ocean Species Under Thr - Text & Pho­tos by Yorko Sum­mer

ASIA DIVE EXPO (ADEX 2014, 2017, 2018, 2019 SPEAKER)

The lo­ca­tion that in­spired Charles Dar­win’s the­ory of evo­lu­tion, the Galá­pa­gos ar­chi­pel­ago is home to many in­trigu­ing en­demic species, in­clud­ing the Galá­pa­gos sea lion. Although they might ap­pear lethar­gic on land, these small sea li­ons trans­form into en­er­getic won­ders un­der­wa­ter – and seem to love noth­ing more than play­fully in­ter­act­ing with divers.

Sadly, re­peated El Niño events in re­cent years have had se­vere reper­cus­sions for the ma­rine life on which the Galá­pa­gos sea lion de­pends, and strong events have seen the ces­sa­tion of re­pro­duc­tion and mass die-offs. Plas­tic pol­lu­tion has be­come a prob­lem, with sea li­ons fre­quently be­com­ing in en­tan­gled in drift­ing plas­tic waste, while boat col­li­sions and oil spills also pose se­ri­ous threats. Pin­nipeds are highly sus­cep­ti­ble to vi­ral in­fec­tion, and the in­creas­ing con­tact be­tween sea li­ons and do­mes­tic dogs in some places is in­creas­ing the risk of dis­ease trans­mis­sion.

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