Pisco, Peru: Paracas National Reserve Sea Lions Disappear After Earthquake

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(LIP-ir) — Peru’s Natural Resources Institute (INRENA) has reported that since the earthquake which struck Peru’s southern coast and devastated most of the Ica Region, 60 percent of the sea lion population, which lived on Paracas Bay, has disappeared.

Representative for INRENA Protected Areas, Luis Alfaro, told Peru’s Andina News Agency, "We can only see 50 sea lions where there used to be 150."

Paracas Bay is part of an ecological reserve that was near the epicenter of the magnitude-8 earthquake that destroyed most of Peru’s Ica Region. Paracas National Reserve is located on the south coast of Peru (near Pisco) and is the home to one of the largest sea-lion colonies in the world.

Peru’s INRENA reported that 2 sea lions were found dead after the earthquake. Therefore the Institute does not discard the fact that the creatures could have migrated. "We only found two sea lions dead the day after the earthquake," stated Alfaro.

Peruvian authorities have begun evaluating the impact the earthquake has had on Peru’s fauna, researching whether it has affected other species, such as birds which live on nearby cliffs.

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