UBC Faculty Research and Publications

An Annotated Bibliography of Scientific Literature (1751-2000) pertaining to Steller sea lions (Eumetopias jubatus) in Alaska Hunter, Andrea M. J.; Trites, Andrew W., 1957-


We compiled an annotated bibliography of Steller sea lion literature that identifies the areas of research that have been undertaken to date, and whether or not they address the leading hypotheses proposed to explain the population decline in Alaska. We identified 263 scientific papers with a primary research focus on Steller sea lions. Of these, 110 articles were peer-reviewed publications in scientific journals, and 153 were other forms of publication (e.g., technical reports, unpublished reports, dissertations, etc.). The total number of Steller sea lion articles published per decade has risen exponentially from 4 in the 1940s to 120 in the 1990s. The bulk of scientific studies have focused on population dynamics, population distribution, ecology, census data, nutrition and behavior. Subject areas that have received low research attention include predation on Steller sea lions, captive studies, metabolism and parasitology. Only 56 of the 263 scientific articles contained information relative to testing one of the 12 hypothesized causes of the Steller sea lion decline. The most frequently addressed hypothesis concerned juvenile mortality (24 papers). This was followed by competition with fisheries, starvation and regime shifts. Only 1 of the 263 articles addressed the role that killer whale predation may be playing in the decline of Steller sea lions. To date, over 9,149 pages pertaining to Steller sea lions have been printed (1,145 pages of primary publications and 8,004 pages of other publications). The relative number of articles that address or provide significant information to assess hypothesized causes of the population decline are few (< 35% of the sea lion literature per decade).

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