Galapagos Sea Lions Moving to the Waters Off Peru

galapagos sea lions photo
Photo via pats0n

For the first time, wildlife experts have observed sea lions native to the Galapagos Islands establishing colonies over 900 miles away in the waters off of Peru. According to researchers, ocean temperatures in Peruvian waters has increased over 11°F in the last ten years--making it the perfect new getaway for the sea lions once unique to the remote Galapagos. Experts are concerned that more animals will begin migrating away from the islands, home to a host of species found nowhere else on earth, as climate change continues to warm waters in other regions.According to the Organization for Research and Conservation of Aquatic Animals, which monitors the animals, the rapid warming of the waters off of Piura, in northern Peru, have reached 73.4°F--matching closely to the temperatures near the Galapagos, preferred by the sea lions, of 77°F.

two galapagos sea lions photo
Photo via UNC

The Galapagos Islands are unique in their biodiversity, which helped Charles Darwin to develop his theory of evolution. But, for the time, 150 years after Darwin's famed visit to the island to study its wildlife, sea lions are migrating away from its shores.

With these recent developments, scientists worry that other species will follow suit, according to the BBC Brasil. More animals venturing beyond the tiny island chain to establish their colonies could have troubling consequences for the biodiversity there which took so long to establish.

More on the Galapagos' Wildlife
Darwin's Finches are Evolving Again
Teaching by Example: The Road to Galapagos
3 Amazing, Galapagos-Only Birds Possibly Headed for Extinction

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