The Galapagos Sea Lion is a common sight all around the islands, and you’ll never be far from a group of them contentedly basking in the warm sun. They are officially a subspecies of the California Sea Lion, but some experts claim that they are actually a separate species. Needless to say, we’re happy to be on the side that claims them as our own, and visitors on a Galapatours cruise will soon fall for their charms!
The Galapagos Sea Lions thrive in the rich waters of the archipelago, and there are an estimated 50,000 individuals who call Galapagos home. They live in large colonies, and will often take over whole stretches of sandy beach where they can bask, bark, argue, snooze and generally just feel at home! The males are impressively large, with a very thick neck when fully mature. The females are much smaller and a lot more elegant and graceful, both in and out of the water.
The mating season runs from May to December, and during this time the males become very territorial, and fights are common. The colonies around the Galapagos give birth to their pups at slightly different times, staggering the new arrivals around the archipelago in a way which may aid survival by reducing over-fishing by the adults in order to feed the hungry pups.
Galapagos Sea Lions are very inquisitive and their playful curiosity means that if you go snorkeling on a Galapatours adventure you’re very likely to be kept company by these delightful creatures in the water. Our expert guides will also be able to show you sites in the islands where the young sea lions enjoy body surfing in the breakers!
Fast Facts about the Galapagos Sea Lion
- Galapagos Sea Lions can grow very large - males are 900lb when mature!
- Galapagos Sea Lions differ from other sea lion species by their rather pointy nose
- Galapagos Sea Lions are highly sociable and they love to play and chase in the warm sun
- Although there is a healthy population on the archipelago, Galapagos Sea Lion population can be decimated by extreme El Nino events