Enhancement Project - Anita Wong Biology 1B/Section 116...

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Anita Wong Biology 1B/Section 116 Brandi McCoy Enhancement Project on the California Sea Lion California sea lions, also known as Zalophus Californianus , inhabit the west coast of North America, from the sea of Cortez in the south to the southern end of British Columbia in the north. The population of sea lions on a given island during the year continues to fluctuate, due to the constant migration and movement of the sea lions throughout the breeding and non-breeding seasons (Peterson, 1967). Zalophus Californianus tend to live on the sandy beaches near the water during the non-breeding seasons, and in breeding sites during the months of May and June, such as the San Nicolas Islands and the Channel Islands off the coast of Santa Barbara (Coy, 2002). They demonstrate aggregate, or clumped dispersion, and are usually found in groups in the breeding areas (Peterson, 1967). California sea lions require certain environmental conditions to survive. Although California sea lions migrate throughout the year, they breed in rookeries, or coastal areas occupied by breeding populations (Peterson, 1967). These rookeries provide the sea lion population with a relatively safe haven to reproduce and care for their young. Rookeries usually exist on rocky shores, or shelves exposed to winds and occasionally washed by high tides, keeping the animals wet and frequently cleaning the area of carcasses and wastes. Zalophus Californianus also stay relatively close to the edge of the water. Their layer of blubber that keeps them warm in the cool ocean water also causes them to continually wet their bodies on warm days to get rid of excessive heat (Peterson, 1967), requiring a habitat with easy access to the ocean. Zalophus Californianus has acquired many adaptations for increasing its survival rate. The hindflippers of the California sea lion have developed for quick movement in the water and on land (Peterson, 1967). In the water, the hindflippers allow for propulsive force in the ocean, which lets the sea
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Enhancement Project - Anita Wong Biology 1B/Section 116...

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