Humans hunted seals and sea lions since at least the Terminal Pleistocene, but early records of pinniped hunting are scarce, with dramatic increases at some locations beginning around 1500 years ago ( Braje et al., 2011a, Braje et al., 2011b and Erlandson et al., 2013). One of the more interesting trends in
pinniped demographics during the Holocene compared to today is the changing abundance of Guadalupe fur seals and elephant seals ( Fig. 2c; Rick et al., 2009a and Rick et al., 2011). For much of the Holocene, Guadalupe fur seals are the most abundant taxa found in archeological sites, suggesting they were frequently encountered when hunting and scavenging. In contrast, elephant seals are rarely found in archeological sites, with just a handful of bones found in island (or mainland) sites. Both of these species were hunted to near AZD2281 ic50 extinction during the 18th–19th century global fur and oil trade. Following federal protection in the 1970s, populations have grown exponentially and
there are now more than 50,000 elephant seals in Alta California waters. Guadalupe fur seals, however, are very rare north of ALK inhibitor Mexico, with only a few observations during the last decade ( Rick et al., 2009a). These dramatic differences in abundance between Holocene seal and sea lion populations and those of today suggest that recovered pinniped populations are not ‘natural’ and are largely an artifact of management and conservation (see Braje et al., 2011a, Braje et al., 2011b and Erlandson et al., 2013). Seal and sea lion conservation can lead to debate between conservationists focused on the management of marine mammal populations and commercial fisheries concerned about shellfish and fish stocks that are common prey of pinnipeds and sea otters. Such conflicts have also begun in Hawaii with debate over monk seal conservation and the effects on Hawaiian fisheries and recreation. Finally, the extensive growth of some pinniped
populations in California demonstrates the conflicts between natural and cultural resource management, with pinnipeds hauling Sclareol out on, disturbing, and destroying non-renewable archeological sites located on the shoreline of the Channel Islands and elsewhere (see Braje et al., 2011a and Braje et al., 2011b). The records of finfish and seabirds are just beginning to be explored in detail, but Braje et al. (2012) recently documented size changes in rockfish (Sebastes spp.), including estimates that many prehistoric specimens were larger than modern fishes. Chendytes lawi, an extinct flightless duck, appears to have been slowly pushed to extinction on the Channel Islands and mainland by human predation and other variables over several millennia ( Jones et al., 2008 and Rick et al., 2012a). Along with human hunting, the extinction of C.