A rare sight to rest upon Australian Sea Lion

Hear all about it!

Australian Sea Lions are the rarest sea lions in the world. They like to rest on sandy beaches on the sheltered sides of islands. They use their front flippers as prop-ups while they use their back flippers to move themselves forward. They are powerful swimmers and head out to sea for up to two days to catch their food.

There are no breeding colonies on Rottnest; the sea lions which are seen around the Island are young males. The Australian Sea Lions are unique to Australia and are found from the Abrolhos Islands in WA round to just east of Kangaroo Island in South Australia.

Threats include; human disturbance (divers, boat traffic), entanglement in fishing nets and debris, climate change affecting their breeding and feeding sites and food supply, and pollution especially oil spills.

Where you can find a Australian Sea Lion

Conservation Status

Listed as Endangered under ICUN (2014). Listed as Vulnerable (Wildlife Conservation Act 1950 (Western Australia). The waters around Rottnest Island are a designated Marine Reserve.
  • Extinct
  • Extinct in Wild
  • Critically Endangered
  • Endangered
  • Vulnerable
  • Near Threatened
  • Least Concerned

Help protect Rottnest's marine environment

  • Do Not approach if seen on the beach
  • Do Not approach when snorkelling or diving
  • Do enjoy watching them on their own terms
  • Do take litter with you or use bins provided
  • Do collect fishing line if seen in ocean or on shores