Saving threatened habitats worldwide

South American Sea Lion

Southern Sea Lions
Otaria flavescens
IUCN Red List status: 
Least Concern


Protected by the following WLT projects:

The Southern Sea Lion is found throughout the South American coastal region.The blackish pups become dark brown with a lighter chest as they mature. The adult males have a massive neck and chest and a characteristic upturned snout. Males grow up to almost 3m long and weigh up to 300kg and females up to 2m and up to 150kg in weight.


Southern sea lions’ main foods are octopus, squid, crustaceans and small fish, although they have been known to hunt penguins. Every year large breeding and nursing colonies (rookeries) are formed with each male having a harem of approx. 10 females.

Threats and Conservation

The Southern Sea Lion has been a victim of the fur trade in the past, which caused a significant decline in numbers of individuals and in their range. Today, although it is illegal to kill sea lions in Argentina, numbers are still declining due to conflict and persecution by fisherman who will shoot sea lions that enter their fisheries. Also drowning in fishing nets is a worrying threat.

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