Sea lion protection in place at Isla Espiritu Santo
Starting June 1 swimming and diving are restricted at the islands
Irma González López, director of the Espiritu Santo Archipelago Marine Zone National Park, announced that swimming and diving activities will be restricted from June 1 to August 31, as part of the strategic plan for the care of the islets, as well as the conservation and protection of the growing sea lion colony.
“According to the results of the Biological Monitoring Program 2011-2016, the islets are the sea lion colony with the highest growth in the last ten years, with a positive trend of 3.8 percent in the Gulf of California,” González López explained.
The breeding season for California sea lions lasts from June to August, and this is when females and particularly alpha males are most aggressive, both on land and at sea, defending their territories.
Also, González López stated that within the Protected Natural Area, the increase in the number of sea lions in the colony has caused the density of animals to be higher, both on land and in water, and the distribution during the reproductive season has been modified, taking advantage of the entire territory of the islets as a breeding and suckling area.
According to data from the Espiritu Santo Archipelago Marine National Park’s official website, the census on May 29, 2021 showed a total of 283 specimens, of which 20 were adult males, 18 sub-adults, 146 females, 15 juveniles, 61 babies, 17 miscellaneous, and 6 neonates.