During our last monthly sea lion survey of the Fort Ross Sea Lion Rocks, FRC’s Director of Programs, Song Hunter, spotted the first tagged animal we’ve seen during one of our surveys! The animal was a California sea lion, and from the yellow tag we can tell this sea lion was tagged at San Miguel Island (the westernmost of California’s Channel Islands).
Luckily, Song was able to get a good photograph of the tagged animal, so that we could send the image to the Marine Mammal Laboratory (MML — a division of NOAA’s Alaska Fisheries Science Center). MML collects resighting photographs of California and Steller sea lions, which happens to be the two resident sea lion species at Fort Ross. See here the original photograph:
Below is a cropped and enlarged image of the original photograph. We’ve encircled the tagged sea lion, but you can see that these tags can be very easy to miss.
The Stanford-US Russia forum brings together Americans and Russians for a week-long conference at Stanford and in Washington, DC, where they share their collaborative research projects. But before the academics begin SURF kicks off at Fort Ross, where the students do community service, learn about their shared history at Fort Ross, and just soak up the glorious Sonoma Coast. It’s one of our favorite exchange programs and we are proud to contribute to this project. Thanks to Renova Fort Ross Foundation for underwriting SURF, and to all the FRC volunteers and board members who came out to lend a hand.
While traveling North from Bodega bay after a training with Stewards of the Coast and Redwoods, we (Song Hunter and Charon Vilnai) witnessed a concentration of migrating whales like we had never seen before! Dozens must have been traveling along with us as we drive up beautiful Highway One.
All photos are from Fort Ross, looking west toward Sea Lion Rocks. Photos by Song Hunter