For two million years, the world's largest sea lions have survived along Alaska's rocky coastline, but now the population is declining at an alarming rate.

Wild Chronicles joins a team of scientists using Crittercam® to investigate theories about the Steller sea lions' mysterious disappearance, and uncover clues that could save the species.

  1. Why does Richard, a biologist, call the declining population of Steller sea lions "a great mystery"?

    • Answer

      The population of Steller sea lions has shrunk radically, but, as Richard says, "there are no bodies." Without bodies, biologists are unable to analyze the health or circumstances surrounding the animals' deaths.

  2. Don, another biologist, studies the health of Steller sea lions. What does he find?

    • Answer

      Steller sea lions weigh less today than they did 20 years ago.

  3. What is the primary food source for Steller sea lions?

    • Answer

      Walleye pollock (also called Alaska pollock) accounts for more than half of a Steller sea lion's diet.

  4. What other predator hunts this food source?

    • Answer

      People have developed an enormous pollock fishery in Alaska.

  5. Competition for food may contribute tothe declining population of Steller sea lions. What may be other contributing factors?

    • Answer

      Scientists are researching the effects of pollution and changing water temperatures on Steller sea lions.

Noun

edge of land along the sea or other large body of water.

Crittercam
Noun

camera designed to be worn on a wild animal, providing a "critter-eye view" of the animal's environment.

decline
Verb

to reduce or go down in number.

population
Noun

total number of people or organisms in a particular area.

sea lion
Noun

marine mammal.