Wednesday, April 18, 2007

States seek permits to kill sea lions off Pacific coast

It seems the struggle over depleted salmon has some people pointing their fingers at other animals who enjoy this ocean treat. Three states, Washington, Oregon and Idaho are asking Congress for permission to kill 80 sea lions a year. Since sea lions have been protected starting the 1970's their population has gone up, and they now inhabit the mouth of the Columbia river where they threaten the salmon populations there. Efforts to keep them away with non-lethal rubber bullets and such have not kept the sea lions away, and at their peak popluation they can number as many as 85 adults. The battle is on for who has the most claim to the salmon- humans or wildlife.
My question is: What were the estimated sea lion population levels before human impact?

original story at the News Tribune

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