Demography of Northern Elephant Seals, 1911-1982

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Science  25 Feb 1983:
Vol. 219, Issue 4587, pp. 969-971
DOI: 10.1126/science.219.4587.969


Northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris) were hunted to near extinction in the 19th century. Protection has allowed them to recolonize former habitat on islands off California, where the population is increasing more than 14 percent per year. Immigration of young pregnant females from Baja California initiated the California rookeries but is responsible for only a small part of recent population growth. Almost 25,000 northern elephant seal pups were born in the species' range in Mexico and the United States in 1982 in comparison with only six known births in 1911.