Steller sea lions taken off threatened species list by NOAA

This is a bit of good news. Protection efforts have succeeded. Let’s break out a can of sardines to celebrate!

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is taking the eastern population of Steller sea lion off the threatened species list. Spokeswoman Julie Speegle said the eastern population has met recovery criteria the agency set out in 2008. In 1979, the federal agency estimated about 18,000 sea lions were in the eastern population, which stretches from Alaska’s Panhandle to California’s Channel Islands. That number rose to more than 70,000 by 2010, the most recent year a count was available. The western population of Steller sea lions, stretching from Cape Suckling, Alaska, west to Russian waters, remains listed as endangered.

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