Sea lions are called "lobos marinos," or simply "lobos," in Galápagos.

LAVA-Lobos is a community science initiative that investigates the impact of human presence on the behavior and social structure of the Galápagos Sea Lion. These endangered lobos can only be found in the Galápagos and are an integral part of the island’s ecosystem. Humans and sea lions interact regularly in the Galápagos; it is common to see sea lions commandeering sunbathers’ towels or snoozing in café chairs, and fishermen often chase sea lions off of docks and boats. LAVA-Lobos studies how this close interaction affects the groupings, demographics and behaviors of sea lions. Students from a local high school, Unidad Educativa Fiscomisional San Cristóbal, carried out the protocol in 2017, 2018, and 2019. The data they collected showed that sea lion behavior is altered by human presence, and these results have been published in a scientific journal article. See the links below to read more. 

“Before, I did not pay much attention to the sea lions, since I was used to seeing them all of the time. Now I view sea lions in a new way and realize that they are very important to the Galápagos ecosystem. We must conserve them, take care of them, and maintain them, because they are a unique species in the world.”

Carlos Aldiar Predes, 2017 LAVA-Lobos participant

If you want to know more...

Click here to read our annual report

Related Projects

Environmental Management


Underwater Exploration