Mystery as decapitated sea lions keep washing up on beaches on Vancouver Island GOT a story? Renowned as one of the world’s best cold-water dives, Vancouver Island has clear water, a great climate, miles of coastline – and massive marine life, including leviathans such as wolf eels, sea lions and the legendary giant Pacific octopus. However they are obviously quite at home in Fanny Bay, for I later learned that Sea Lions can be spotted here at almost any time of year. Located on the Eastern most coast of Vancouver Island between Parksville and Courtney (on Hwy 19A – or the “Oceanside Route”), Fanny Bay is a sleepy little village more known for the delicious oysters that come out of the waters of Baynes Sound. California sea lions are found from Vancouver Island, British Columbia to the southern tip of Baja California in Mexico. Steller sea lions are the most common sea lion on Vancouver Island and numbers are estimated close to 25,000 in British Columbia. The CBC reported that in 2013, four decapitated sea lions were found on Vancouver Island Beaches, and in 2014, 12 seal carcasses were found at St Lawrence in Quebec. California sea lions and Steller sea lions are the two most common sea lions on Vancouver Island. Yes, French Creek harbour/marina is also a great place to see sea lions. She says images of the lifeless pinnipeds recommend a sample of their accidents. No, I suppose it isn’t! Steller sea lions can feed alone or in groups of up to 100 if feeding on schooling fish. Sea Otters in a raft relax in a bed of kelp on the west coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. Copyright 2018 © Discover Vancouver Islands. Where do you think the best spot is to view sea lions on Vancouver Island? Body features/swimming Coloration on Stellers range from light blonde to reddish brown with slightly darker colors on its chest. We return to Vancouver Island in late October to see the sea lions. What majestic beasts. She said they now hang out a ways further up the shore (but I can’t say just where that is). Oh, shoot! All Rights Reserved, things to do with kids on vancouver island, The Magnificient Rosewall Creek Falls - Vancouver Island View, Exploring Parksville’s Best Parks and Trails, Exploring Parksville's Best Parks and Trails, The Ultimate Vancouver Island Bucket List. They are binge feeders, eating all they can when food is plentiful, and then rest for long periods of time. Residents on Vancouver Island had spotted several headless sea lions, the Victoria Times Colonist reported back in May. That’s wonderful to hear, Kelly! D. Seller assumes all responsibility for this listing. Yearly Sea Lion Migration in Vancouver Island City. We stopped by Fanny Bay yesterday, and learned from a local that the fishermen got fed up with the Sea Lions (quite messy, apparently) and have chased them off. Deborah Short says between March 20 … The harvesting proposal is being made by Pacific Balance Marine Management, the group that posted the photos as … […] You can read more about these sea lions and how to get to the Government Wharf in our post entitled: The Best Spot to View Sea Lions on Vancouver Island. I agree to get exclusive offseason deals in newsletter. The gravel parking area is easily found to the right of the Government Wharf, just off the main highway. A third population in the Sea of Japan became extinct, probably during World War II. Since last spring, decapitated sea lions have been seen washed up along the Vancouver Island shores and a marine mammal expert says it's likely they've been deliberately beheaded by … Steller sea lions are the most common sea lion on Vancouver Island and numbers are estimated close to 25,000 in British Columbia. All rights reserved. I miss the west coast. Now with increasing western sea lions up to 5% per year, the western and eastern stocks are almost the same, though the eastern stock is increasing again as well. Every year in late fall about 300 (yes I do mean 300!) Learn how your comment data is processed. We went around 4:30pm and there were fishing boats unloading their days catches and the sea lions were very active. Although my first inclination was to wait until the weekend so that we could go as a whole family, hubby included, after looking at the dismal weather report for Saturday and Sunday, I thought to myself “why not right now”!?. That’s incredible. They can be seen on all areas on Vancouver Island though you will most likely see them from a boat since they seem to hang out on isolated rocks and small islands. The front flippers are longer and wider than the rear and provide the primary propulsion. They can be found from California up to Alaska, however it is much more abundant in British Columbia and Alaska. Rob Bailey is your guide to Canada’s rugged island paradise Words + Photographs Rob Bailey Males typically live up to 14 years and females up to 22 years. Bulls (adult males) become sexually mature from 3 and 8 years of age but they can usually only hold a territory successfully until 9 or 10 years old when they are large enough. The beheaded sea lions are washing ashore on Vancouver Island in Canada Short has done her own investigation into the deaths and found several proposals from … Steller Sea Lions vs California Sea Lions Thanks for the tip!!! Steller Sea Lions are some of the noisiest (never mind smelliest), marine mammals on our coastline. Sea-Lions Vancouver Island BC Unused Vintage Postcard G64. Once I get confirmation about this, I will officially rewrite this article with the new information. While reading a local magazine, I happened to come across an article about the California Sea Lions currently ‘stationed’ in Fanny Bay. TOFINO, B.C. The flippers are black along with other hairless parts on the body. They breed mainly on offshore islands, ranging from southern California's Channel Islands south to Mexico, although a few pups have been born on Año Nuevo and the Farallon Islands in central California. Reproduction/Life Cycle Steller sea lions are colonial breeders where adult males establish and defend territories to mate with females and create rookeries. Adventuress Sea Kayaking: sea lion kayak tour - See 209 traveler reviews, 137 candid photos, and great deals for Nanoose Bay, Canada, at Tripadvisor. As soon as the car engine is turned off you can hear their unique bark. This item will ship to United States, but the seller has not specified shipping options. My son held his hands over his ears at their loud bark. We recently moved to Parksville and this was a real treat to hear them and only a 5 minute drive down to the marina to see them. I made another mental tick to the ever-growing list of why I LOVE living on Vancouver Island! They can be seen on all areas on Vancouver Island though you will most likely see them from a boat since they seem to hang out on isolated rocks and small islands. Steller Sea Lions vs California Sea Lions Steller sea lions can be confused with California sea lions but the two are different in color and size. Her dogs bark actually changed from it’s regular little havenese bark to sounding like the sea lions. Thank you so much for sharing your experience with us. — The nets of a salmon farm ensnared and drowned 51 California sea lions earlier this month, more than in all of 2006, a spokesman for the Vancouver Island fish-farm operator says. DFO spokesperson Laura Sloan said fishery officers did get reports of an injured Sea Lion in Cowichan Bay and attended with the Vancouver Aquarium Wildlife Rescue Team. My daughter commented on their smell. I had heard a rumour that they were no longer there. Steller sea lions’ low-frequency vocalizations closer to a roar compared to California sea lions’ vocalizations, which sound more like a bark. After such a long hiatus from diving and photography (my last was in January in the frigid waters of Vancouver Island photographing Steller sea lions), it was wonderful to be among sea lions again, in the relatively warm and calm waters San Diego typically has in late fall. It is not unusual for Sea Lions to sleep 8 to 12 hours at a time. In Canada, marine mammals are legally protected by the Fisheries Act and the Species at Risk Act — and the status of Steller sea lions are considered “special concern.” The decapitated bodies of at least five sea lions found on the shores of Vancouver Island, Canada, over the past few months hint that there may be a marine-mammal serial killer on the loose, or perhaps someone who is lopping off the heads of already dead sea lions, according to news sources.. It’s unclear how these animals died, but after looking at photos of the dead animals, Anna … Population Trends Based on genetic analyses, areas of reproduction and local feeding areas, the global Steller sea lion population has been divided into an eastern and western stock at 144°W longitude running through the middle of the Gulf of Alaska. Let me know if you have any questions and thanks for viewing. A rather large colony of Sea Lions hang out on the man-made floats just off the end of the Government Wharf. Bulls aggressively defend their territory and can go without eating for 1-2 months to do this. Steller sea lions are the largest of the 5 species of sea lion and are the fourth largest pinniped in the world behind the northern elephant seal, southern elephant seal, and walrus. Females typically within 2 weeks after giving birth. Vancouver Island Tourism Vancouver Island Hotels There are large colonies of Steller’s, or Northern, Sea Lions off northern Vancouver Island, and off the southern end of Haida Gwaii, the former Queen Charlotte Islands. Then, in 2020, the United States approved a larger cull of up to 540 California sea lions and 176 Steller sea lions over five years on the lower Columbia River system. It is mostly male California sea lions that spend from September to May here since the females usually stay all year in California and Oregon. There is a distinct population of California sea lions at the Galapagos Islands. I, however, was awestruck by the sight of them lazing in the faint Spring sunlight looking like a pile of fat kings. But happiness is a question of temperament not circumstances, and sea lions are the Alf Garnetts of the ocean. No matter how many times I see them, it just never gets old. Thankfully our excitement and eagerness to see the big beasts up close was warranted! Headless sea lions have been washing up on Vancouver Island since spring, and a marine mammal expert says it's likely the animals were deliberately beheaded by humans. For although the magazine was current, who really knows how long they stay in a particular area? at The Best Western Dorchester, #2-70 Church St, Nanaimo, BC, Canada V9R 5H4. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Facebook Tweet Pin. The female Stellers can be closer to the male California sea lions with a max of 450 kg (1000 lbs) but the Stellars light color contrasts the California’s dark chocolaty color. The Marine Mammal Centre says California sea lions are found as far north as Vancouver Island and as far south as Baja California in Mexico. They can dive up over 300 meters and staying submerged for up to 8 minutes. During the drive along the inland highway there was a bit of doubt running through my mind that the Sea Lions would still be there. Open the door and you will smell their pungent aroma. If you want to make your trek to Fanny Bay really worth while, head a bit further south to the Deep Bay Marine Field Station. In 1997 and 1998, Canada authorized the killing of 52 harbor seals on Vancouver Island’s Puntledge River to protect juvenile chinook salmon migrating to sea. Thank you, I will update the article. But if you too are looking to take in the wonders of California and Stellar Sea Lions, this is the place to do it! A Nanaimo, B.C., woman is calling for a thorough investigation after a number of sea lions were found decapitated on the eastern shores of Vancouver Island. After packing some essential snacks, and setting the tunes to our favourite driving songs, the kids and I were ready for our mini road trip to Fanny Bay. Anna Corridor is a marine mammal zoologist at Sea View Marine Sciences. They offer public tours, and it is a great place for family fun, and hands-on exhibits of marine life found in Baynes Sound and the Salish Sea. There is a rumour that they may be still in their pack and now located across from the French Creek Marina. Each winter they amass in great anticipation of the spawning herring, which happens in February. There are no companies offering snorkeling tours of any kind in the Port McNeill area – only scuba diving with Sun Fun Charters. The Steller males max weight of 2500 lbs (1120 kg) is much larger than the male California sea lion with a max up to 400 kg (900 lbs). “We were unable to locate it but did perform medical care on sea lions at Race Rocks on the same patrol,” Sloan said. RING The Sun on 0207 782 4104 or WHATSAPP on 07423720250 or EMAIL exclusive@the-sun.co.uk They are entertaining as they growl and roar as they challenge other males for space on the rocks. Feeding Being very opportunistic feeders, Steller sea lions take advantage of sleeping fish at night meaning they don’t have to work too hard for their catch. Pups are about 1 meter in length and weigh 16-22.5 kg (35-50 pounds) at birth. Oh wow! The Sea Lions have moved on from the location mentioned below. Although my first inclination was to wait until the weekend so that we could go as a whole family, hubby included, after looking at the dismal weather report for Saturday and Sunday, I thought to myself “why not right now”! Stellers in BC have been increasing up to 5% per year since the 1970’s and have caused concern for their role in the ecosystem and the amount of food they consume. You can’t wonder into the middle of a pack of buffalo on the Serengeti plains. Four headless sea lions were found on Vancouver Island in 2013, and at least 12 seal carcasses were found on the banks of the St. Lawrence in Quebec in 2014, the CBC reported. The male, or bull, is a huge animal, with an average weight of about 700 kilograms. Then, this past week, photos of headless sea lions … Unlike other pinnipeds the light colors don’t change when the fur is wet. In 2014, at least 12 headless seal carcasses were found on the banks of the St. Lawrence in Quebec. Mon 8am to 5pm. This is why you will most often see them lazing on the pontoons, rather than swimming in the water. Recent widely-circulated photos of decapitated seals and sea lions have rekindled debate about a Vancouver Island commercial pinniped harvest. Last updated June, 2020. ?. Sea-lion life should have been idyllic – basking in the sun, dozing, shagging everyone in turn, dropping into the water for an occasional swim and a feast of fresh fish. Let me know in the comments below. VANCOUVER — Headless sea lions have been washing up on Vancouver Island since spring, and a marine mammal skilled says it is seemingly the animals had been intentionally beheaded by people. Steller and California Sea Lions gather in Cowichan Bay to gorge themselves on spawning salmon and bask in the sun on the breakwater. The CBC reported that in 2013, four decapitated sea lions were found on Vancouver Island Beaches, and in 2014, 12 seal carcasses were found at St … That’s great to hear! In British Columbia they feed on herring, salmon, sand lance, pilchards, hake, cephalopods, rock fish and dogfish (small sharks). Fun! In the harbour of French Creek we saw about 50 Seelions lazing around!! The eastern stock goes to Russia and Japan, while the western stock is from California to Alaska. Tell us proposals, you are interested in: Farmers Markets/Products on Vancouver Island, Steller Sea Lions vs California Sea Lions. Steller Sea Lions are a honey-brown colour with large, dark brown flippers. Cowichan Bay is a small little picturesque waterfront community on the southern edge of Vancouver Island’s Cowichan Valley. […]. I am sure they are glad the sea lions moved on. The eastern stock was in decline up until 2000 and used to be 80% of the total stock. The Steller Sea Lion is the largest species of sea lion in the world and certainly look (and sound!) impressive when viewed from our boats. Not so good when you live there and have to listen to the noise all hours of the day and night, and the smell! In 2013, four headless sea lions were found on Vancouver Island beaches. Named after naturalist Georg Wilhelm Steller, who first described them in 1741, the steller sea lion is the largest of the eared seals. Vancouver Island supports black bears, cougars, wolves, elk, deer and many other mammal and bird species, both abundant and threatened in numbers. Wildlife Viewing Tours and Operators on Vancouver Island and BC Islands Shipping and handling. Daily food requirement is about 15-20 kg for mature females, and 30-35 kg for mature males and about 7% of body weight. ... Vancouver Island Whale Watch. © Copyright 2020 - Vancouver Island View. Yes, I still feel it is a treat to see them and we’ve been on the Island for almost 10 years! Review Contents: Overview. Headless sea lions have been reported in Canada before, including 4 in 2013 in Vancouver Island and 12 in 2014 in Quebec, on the other side of the country. Further research revealed this particular area is the best spot to view sea lions on Vancouver Island! Subscribe to our newsletter and get exclusive offseason deals. Or do you get a break once in a while? We just stopped out at French Creek Harbour and the sea lions were still there! 1-250-667-5177 info@vancouverislandwhalewatch.com. National Geographic wildlife documentarian Bertie Gregory had a similar encounter when he plunged in the water to observe sea lions in their natural habitat, in the waters off Vancouver Island. Some may reach 1000 kilograms, with a body length of up to three metres. Walk to the end of the wharf and you will be in for quite a sight! Are they there most of the year? 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