Galapagos Sea Lions

The Galapagos Sea Lion - an excellent swimmer

The Galapagos Sea Lion (Zalophus Wollebaeki) is an eared seal that is only found in the Galapagos archipelago. Currently, there is a population of 50,000 sea lions in the Galapagos and are found on every island.

Male sea lions grow up to 2.7 metres and weigh up to 250 Kg, while the females are significantly smaller, measuring up to 1.7 metres with an average weight of 100 Kg. Their fur colour varies from light brown, golden brown to grey. Male and female sea lions can be differentiated based on their very different sizes and fur patterns.  Males also have a more structured face and females have a smaller, shorter more rounded head. To plan your trip better, check out our Galapagos Islands monthly animal activities chart.

A sea lion sleeps on a boat in the Galapagos Islands

Species Conservation

The Galapagos Sea Lion’s habitat is protected by the Marine National Park and any changes in their population are closely monitored.

Advice for visitors:

While you will often be accompanied by sea lions on your journey, the place with the most sea lions is the “La Loberia beach” in San Cristobal Island. While pups love swimming and playing with divers and snorkelers, it is important to keep a respectful distance from adult sea lions.

Habitat and Diet

Adult sea lions are excellent swimmers and can swim up to 200 metres deep and remain underwater for several minutes. Sea lions only hunt underwater during day time and their daily menu include fish, crustaceans and mussels.

Mating season begins from May to January. The gestation period for sea lions is around 12 months and bays around the Galapagos Islands are often ‘Kindergarten’ where groups of young pups play and learn to swim! Usually, a male sea lion will look after the pups while the rest of the group hunt for food. Female sea lions breastfeed their pups for up to 3 years!

The Galapagos Sea lions are not afraid of people, be it on land or underwater. Do not be surprised if they swim up to you to demand quite a bit of attention! There are currently more than 500 sea lions living in Puerto Baquerizo where you can observe them conquer park benches, walkways and the piers.  

3 sea lions in a rubber boat

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