THE BREEDING CYCLE OF THE SOUTHERN SEA LION, OTARIA BYRONIA

Authors

  • Claudio Campagna

    1. Centro Nacional Patagónico, 9120 Puerto Madryn, Chubut, R. Argentina
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      273 Applied Sciences Building, University of California, Santa CNZ, California 95064.


Abstract

Daily counts of Southern sea lions (Otaria byronia) made at Punta Norte, Argentina, during four consecutive breeding seasons (1980–1984) yielded similar results in the time of the reproductive events. Males and females began to arrive during the second week of December. Males reached peak numbers (100–110) between 15 and 21 January. Females reached maximum numbers (300–350) at the end of January. About 380–430 pups were born between December 20 and February 2, and 70–80 percent of births occurred between 10 and 25 January. Copulations peaked during the third week of January. The sex ratio of adult males to adult females at peak season fluctuated from 1:3.7 to 1:4.2. By the first week of February, coinciding with the maximum number of young males (25–50), 90 percent of the adult males had abandoned the area and the number of females fluctuated greatly. Since 1980 the number of females and pups has shown a slight increase, particularly during the 1983–1984 breeding season.

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