Zalophus californianus have traditionally preferred nurseries in the Channel Islands, but the population of pups born off Northern California’s coast began skyrocketing in 2016. Births at both sites went from a few dozen pups to more than 500. The trend has only intensified since; more than a thousand pups born at the Farallones, and between 500 and 700 at Año Nuevo, in 2017 according to NOAA; similar numbers are expected this year, although final counts are not yet available. Such high census numbers are unprecedented since robust surveys began in 1975. The move appears to coincide with the onset of “the blob,” a marine heat wave that formed off the California coast starting in 2014. California sea lions prey on species that get scarce during warm water conditions. Burgeoning sea lion numbers and the need for more rookery sites could also help explain the expansion to northern nurseries. A coalition of scientists from UC Santa Cruz, the UC Natural Reserve System, and NOAA’s Marine Mammal Laboratory is studying the phenomenon. Great white sharks also have changed their habits during recent warm water conditions. Instead of migrating further south in late fall, young great whites took advantage of the balmy temperatures and lingered near the southern California coast year round.