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Mon Oct 28, 2013, 08:55 AM

Steller comeback

The Steller sea lion, which travel along the West Coast, has been removed from the U.S. Endangered Species List.

"We're delighted to see the recovery of the eastern population of Steller sea lions," Jim Balsiger, administrator of NOAA Fisheries' Alaska region, said in a statement. "We'll be working with the states and other partners to monitor this population to ensure its continued health." [Images: Sea Lion Pups Make a Splash]

Steller sea lions, whose scientific name is Eumetopias jubatus, are the largest of the eared seals. Historically, the animals had been hunted for their meat and hides and killed by fisherman who blamed the animals for stealing their catch. The creatures were first added to the Endangered Species List in 1990 in light of evidence that the species had experienced a steep decline over the previous decades.

According to biologists' estimates, the number of eastern Steller sea lions had dwindled to around 18,000 by the late 1970s. But by 2010, the population had bounced back to more than 70,000 individuals, NOAA officials said. That translates to a growth rate of 4.18 percent each year, exceeding the federal agency's recovery criteria.



news.yahoo.com/sea-lion-species-removed-endangered-species-list-131925639.html

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