Guadalupe Fur Seal (Arctocephalus townsendi
The Guadalupe fur seal (Arctocephalus townsendi) belongs to the sea lion family (otariid).
They are native to the West Coast of North American, with a breeding colony situated off of the coast of Baja California, Mexico
Eight different Arctocephalus species are recognized. Population levels for six of the eight species are considered stable.
The IUCN lists the Guadalupe fur seal as threatened because of large population decreases in the twentieth century, due mostly to commercial fur harvesters who did not distinguish between northern fur seals and the Guadalupe fur seal.
Populations began to recover once the Mexican Government placed restrictions on their harvest. Along with whales, they now make the tourist must see list on a visit to the area.
Like many fur seals and sea lions, Guadalupe Fur Seal breeding occurs on a rocky coast. A male establishes a territory with multiple females. Pups are born throughout the summer.
Again, like many seals, apart from humans, at sea, killer whales and sharks feed on Guadalupe Fur Seals.
© 2011. Patricia A. Michaels