The Broken Islands Group is a group of small islands and islets in the middle of Barkley Sound on the West Coast of Vancouver Island. The group is protected as the Broken Islands Group Unit of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, which includes Long Beach, between Ucluelet and Tofino to Barkley Sound’s northwest, and the West Coast Trail between Port Renfrew and Bamfield, which is to the southeast.
We visited a while back and took a zodiac through the Broken Islands from Ucluelet and were thrilled to come face-to-face with a large group of Stellar Sea Lions (Twice).
The male, or bull, Stellar Sea Lion is a huge animal, growing up to three metres in length and weighing up to 900 kilograms.
In contrast, the females are only about a third as large, and give birth to one pup after a gestation period of one year.
There are three Stellar Sea Lion breeding rookeries in British Columbia, and many haul-out sites located throughout coastal B.C. A prominent local haul-out site is at Race Rocks, off the Western Communities of Greater Victoria.
The Steller sea lion, also known as the northern sea lion, is a threatened species of in the northern Pacific. It is the sole member of the genus Eumetopias and the largest of the eared Seal (Otariidae). Among Pinnipeds, it is inferior in size only to the Walrus and the two Elephant Seals. The Steller sea lion has attracted considerable attention in recent decades due to significant, unexplained declines in their numbers over a large portion of their range.
It is a thrill to get up close to these incredible mammals so comfortable in and around the water.