June 22, 2024

Observation of Steller Sea Lion (Eumetopias jubatus) Predation on a Harbor Seal (Phoca vitulina richardii) in the Glacier Bay Region of Southeastern Alaska


Jamie N. Womble and Suzanne Conlon


Abstract: Pinnipeds prey primarily on fish and invertebrates; however, several species are known to prey upon other pinniped species. Herein, we document an observation of a Steller sea lion (Eumetopias jubatus) attacking and partially consuming a juvenile harbor seal (Phoca vitulina richardii) in Johns Hopkins Inlet in Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska. Population trends for Steller sea lions and harbor seals contrast dramatically in the Glacier Bay region. Although other marine predators are known to attack harbor seals, it is possible that Steller sea lions could potentially have both a direct and indirect influence on harbor seals in the Glacier Bay region.

Key Words: Steller sea lion, Eumetopias jubatus, harbor seal, Phoca vitulina richardii, pinniped, predation, feeding, Glacier Bay National Park, southeastern Alaska

Document Type: Research article

DOI: 10.1578/AM.36.2.2010.129

Page Numbers: 129-137

Info SKU: Vol__36__Iss__2__Womble_et__al_ Category: