A New Guadalupe Fur Seal Colony in the Gulf of California?
- Species conservation
A new colony of Guadalupe fur seals was discovered in the Gulf of California in 2019 and documented with counts and photographs in 2019 and 2020. The location is at Isla Las Animas which is northeast of La Paz in Baja California Sur, Mexico. All animals observed were juveniles and suggests this colony is in the early stages of forming. Guadalupe fur seals are classified as Endangered in Mexico and Threatened in the United States and the only two regular breeding colonies are at Guadalupe Island and a smaller breeding group at the San Benitos Islands, both located on the west side of the Baja California Peninsula. This species was hunted nearly to extinction in the 19th Century and was thought to have gone extinct twice from the early to mid-20th Century.
Elorriaga-Verplancken, F.R., Paniagua-Mendoza, A., Hernández-Camacho, C.J., Webber, M.A., Cruz-Vallejo, R., Nevels, C.R. and González-López, I. 2021. A New Guadalupe Fur Seal Colony in the Gulf of California? Ecological and Conservation Implications. Aquatic Mammals, 47(1), pp.1–9.