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Australian sea lions are declining. Using drones to check their health can help us understand why

Source: theconversation.com

Australian sea lions are in trouble. Their population has never recovered from the impact of the commercial sealing that occurred mainly in the 19th century.

Currently, the Australian sea lion is a threatened species (listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature or IUCN) with the population estimated at 10,000 – 12,000. More than 80% of these animals live in the coastal waters of South Australia, where their numbers are estimated to have fallen by more than half over the past 40 years.

The sea lions’ survival is threatened by many factors, including bycatch in commercial fisheries, entanglement in marine debris and impacts related to climate change. MORE

Header image: Low-lying rock islands and outcrops make important breeding sites for Australian sea lions but many are threatened by sea-level rise. Credit: J. Hodgson.

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