The Japanese sea lion is a sea lion that once existed in Japan. Unfortunately, it is now extinct. The Japanese sea lion is a pinniped animal classified in the genus Sea lion of the family Seal family. It was fairly widely distributed from the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia in the north to Kyushu in the south. Overfishing is said to be the biggest cause of the extinction of Japanese sea lions. Since the 1900s, the number of sea lions has declined significantly, making them completely invisible.
The Japanese sea lion is an animal that lived in Japan.
The average length of Japanese sea lions is 240 cm for males and 180 cm for females. Average weight of males is 494 kg, estimated females are 120 kg. The Japanese sea lion is a fairly large species, larger than the California sea lion Galapagos sea lion. Japanese sea lions spend most of their lives at sea. When swimming, the face is often exposed to the surface of the water, and the maximum instantaneous speed reaches 30 km. The habitat was fairly widespread, with Miyazaki City and the Izu Islands in the south, and Sakhalin and the southern tip of the Kamchatka Peninsula in the north. The Japanese sea lion was initially thought to be a subspecies of the California sea lion, the same species. However, it turned out to be a completely different species. The male body color is dark taupe. On the contrary, the female is light brown. The Japanese sea lion is a highly social animal that screams loudly to inform its friends when a crisis is imminent. Natural enemies are sharks and orca.
Japanese sea lions ate fish, firefly squids and other cephalopods. The marriage style is polygamy and the breeding season is May-June. You can give birth to one at a time. Parenting lasts for about two months from July to August in the summer. Breeding activities are animals that are performed only in breeding grounds that are limited to the breeding season.
At the end of the Edo period, 30,000 to 50,000 Japanese sea lions inhabited the waters near Japan. However, from the end of the 19th century to the beginning of the 20th century, it decreased sharply due to overfishing. This overfishing is said to be the number one cause of extinction. Around 1930, the purpose of hunting Japanese sea lions was to sell them to circuses and zoos. Witnesses of Japanese sea lions were reported around Takeshima in 1958, but there are no reliable records since then, and it is believed to have become extinct. Due to Japan’s high economic growth, the coastal waters have been exposed to marine pollution, and the habitat of Japanese sea lions has become harsh.
The Japanese sea lion has become extinct, but several animals that seem to be Japanese sea lions have been witnessed. In 1981 and 1985, it was found in Uno, Tamano City, Okayama Prefecture. Furthermore, in July 2003, there was a sighting on the coast of Iwami Town, Tottori Prefecture. Furthermore, in 2016, there were witnesses off the coast of Satsumasendai City, Kagoshima Prefecture. Maybe they are surviving?
The Japanese sea lion is considered an extinct species. Therefore, it cannot be bred.