under national protection New Zealand Fur Seal

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New Zealand Fur Seals mainly breed in New Zealand but are found around Australia’s southern coasts. Rottnest Island is lucky to have a colony of these fur seals that lives at Cathedral Rocks. Throughout the year, fur seals live in colonies at particular haul-out sites (places where the animals leave the water). New Zealand Fur Seals spend about half their time out of the water at these sites where they can be seen resting on the rocks. Their colonies are called rookeries and are normally found on rocky shores which provide shelter and protection especially for their pups. The colonies are busiest during the breeding season in summer.

Fur seals are quite slow and clumsy on land but they are very agile and fast in water. They use this speed and agility to hunt their prey and can dive below 100 m. Their main predators are sharks, orcas and sea lions.

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

Where you can find a New Zealand Fur Seal

Conservation Status

Listed as Least Concern under ICUN (2014). Protected under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972. Listed as Other Protection Fauna under 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 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