A rocky micro-island located 1/2 mile from Mazatlan named Isla
Tortuga or Roca Tortuga(Turtle Island or Turtle Rock) is
the winter house of these beautiful and friendly sea inhabitants,
they can not be found anywhere else in Mazatlan. This island
located 106°26'20' W'and 23°11'05'N',
among other ones in the area (Mazatlan Islands), was declared an
ecological reserve and refuge of marine migratory bird, flora
and sylvan fauna by a federal decree in 1991.
According to the 1991 decree is strictly forbidden at all time to hunt,
capture, chase, molest or According to the in any ways the birds and
other animals that inhabit temporary or permanently Mazatlan islands.
It is also expressly forbidden the destruction or modification of the
local flora. It is not allowed any kind of construction for any purpose.
mammals, known as Zahphus californianus or california sea lions,
are locally abundant along the coasts of California and Baja California,
but can be found as far south as Mazatlan along the western coast
of Mexico, and as far north as the coasts of British Columbia.
colouring ranges from tan to chocolate brown and may appear black
when wet. The head has a pointed muzzle and the profile resembles
that of a dog. The hair is short; the flippers are long and leathery
with nails. An adult male is larger weighing about 800 pounds with
a sagittal crest or bump on the top of the head; the female who
is considerably smaller, averages 250 pounds. The top of a male's
head often gets lighter with age. These members of the otariid or
walking seal family have external ear flaps and large flippers that
they use to "walk" on land. The trained "seals" in
zoos and aquariums are usually California sea lions.
noisy, exuberant, quick learner is the "trained seal" of
the circus. It is highly adaptable to any surrounding and use a variety
of habitats. When resting on rocks or beaches they point their noses
skyward and may be seen laying atop one another. When at sea they
raft together, playing and leaping clear of the surface. Their long
fore flippers enable them to make powerful strokes while swimming
and they may reach speeds of 25 mph. They are very vocal and bark
like dogs; the pups have a bleatlike call. The California Sea Lion
prey on schooling fish, rockfish, squid, flatfish, hake, lamprey,
dogfish and salmon. This healthy population continues to flourish
despite ongoing conflicts with commercial and sport fisheries.
sea lions are very social animals, and groups often rest closely
packed together at favored haul-out sites on land, or float
together on the ocean's surface in "rafts." They are sometimes seen
porpoising, or jumping out of the water, presumably to speed up their
swimming. Sea lions have also been seen "surfing" breaking
waves. California sea lions are opportunistic eaters, feeding
on squid, octopus, herring, rockfish, mackerel, and small sharks.
In turn, sea lions are preyed upon by Orcas (killer whales)
and great white sharks.