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Can we see a cohort effect on survival of Steller sea lions (Eumetopias jubatus) at Kozlova Cape rookery (eastern Kamchatka, Russia)?



Steller sea lions (Eumetopias jubatus) have experienced a decline in Russia as well as the United States. The causes for the decline of the Russian population may or may not overlap the causes of the decline in Alaska. The demographics of the Russian population are not well understood and are an area of interest for scientists wishing to compare and contrast the Alaskan and Russian stocks. This study uses a unique observational system to assess survival by age at a small rookery on the Kamchatka Peninsula, Kozlova Cape. We proceeded under the hypothesis that changes in environmental conditions between years would produce noticeable differences in survival of pups born in those years. We found no evidence to support our hypothesis, but did find some differences from the Alaskan population in estimated survival for the juvenile stage class. This study also provides some of the history of Steller sea lions in Russia for context.