GALAPAGOS SCIENCE CENTER

Declines and recovery in endangered Galapagos pinnipeds during the El Niño Event

Our researchers Diego Páez- Rosas and Majorie Riofrío with Adrian Marchetti and Harvey Seim researchers from UNC-Chapel Hill, and Eduardo Espinosa and Jorge Torres from the Galapagos National Park Directorate, presented their work called “Declines and recovery in endangered Galapagos pinnipeds during the El Niño Event”

The study estimates the abundance of the two species of Galapagos sea lions: Zalophus wollebaeki and Arctocephalus galapagoensis, which according to the IUCN are classified as “Endangered” since their populations have suffered drastic declines in recent decades, especially after the event “El Niño” on 2015.

In addition, it shows the inter-annual fluctuations and the differences between regions of the archipelago and the populations of these two species. The results showed evidence that both species are highly vulnerable to periodic oceanographic-atmospheric events that impact the abundance of food and the flow of energy in the unique ecosystem of the islands.