Sea lions arrived on Kunashir earlier than usual this year
The press service of the Kurilsky Nature Reserve reported that this year sea lions were spotted in the waters of Yuzhno-Kurilsk 10 days earlier than last year and the year before. Local surfers riding the waves in Golovin Bay met the northern sea lions.
The first sea lion was spotted on December 6 near the coast. Another individual was recorded on December 10. A group of eight sea lions was met by a researcher at the reserve in the water opposite Cape Yuzhno-Kurilsky on December 13.
"Constant monitoring of sea lions, as a rare species, has been conducted in the reserve since 2015. With the onset of winter, the staff of the reserve registers all meetings of sea lions and other marine mammals in coastal waters, enters them into the database of animal observations and then into the annual Chronicle of nature of the reserve," the press service said.
The largest number of sea lions near the South Kuril Cape was recorded in the winter of 2015-2016 - 47 individuals. These animals are found not only in the waters of Kunashir, but also in the area of the Veslovsky Peninsula. In the same winter, a record number of sea lions was recorded on Shikotan in Krabovaya Bay — 52 individuals.
As a rule, sea lions leave the waters of Kunashir and Shikotan in April, heading to their reproductive rookeries to the southeast or north. Pinniped rookeries are permanent from year to year. These geographical points are extremely important for animals at any time of the year.
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