Between the years of 2013 and 2015, starving and emaciated sea lion pups were washing ashore on the beaches in Southern California. These events were caused by the warming of the waters and other changes in the climate. The main food source for the sea lions, the sardines and anchovies, happen to be in short supply so the sea lion mothers did not have enough milk to feed their young pups. They had to swim very far from their young to be able to find low quality fish, such as squid or rockfish.
Marine researchers are confirming that the number of hungry pups, that are washing up on the beaches and are roaming the streets looking for food, is declining. They also report that besides the recent stranding episodes, the number of these marine mammals Is three times higher than what it was in the 1970s.
The researchers are optimistic that the conditions for sea lions have improved due to the growth of the Northern anchovy, really fatty fish which sea lions really like. This has drastically improved the diet of the sea lion mothers and thus making them able to raise healthier pups.
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