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PWS Public Safety Alert

16/01/2019

There has been considerable thunderstorm activity across the state overnight. Some fires have started in remote areas and the situation is being assessed as a matter of urgency.More

PWS Public Safety Update

16/01/2019

The Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service is concentrating on its main priority - the safety of walkers and people in fire-affected parks and reserves.

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Gell River Fire update 14 January 2019 4.00 pm

15/01/2019

A fire is burning within the Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park, to the north of the Denison Range and through the Vale of Rasselas.More

New Zealand Fur Seal, Arctocephalus forsteri

New Zealand Fur seal

New Zealand Fur Seals

The New Zealand fur seal is found in New Zealand and along the south coast of Australia from southwest Western Australia to South Australia. There are small populations in Victoria and Tasmania.

In Tasmanian waters it mainly occurs on the west and south coasts. Only a small number of New Zealand fur seals breed on remote islands off the south coast. The total population in Tasmania is 350-450. About 100 pups are born annually. Like the Australian fur seal, not all pups will survive.

It is very difficult to tell the difference between the Australian fur seal and the New Zealand fur seal. The New Zealand fur seal is slightly smaller than the Australian fur seal and are best distinguished from this species by their much darker colouration. For more positive identification, a suite of other morphological and behavioural characteristics needs to be considered. These head shape, "vibrissae' or whiskers, posture, terrestrial locomotion, vocalisations and thigmotactism or close physical contact.

The New Zealand fur seal's main prey includes Redbait and Jack Mackerel and myctophid species. Unlike the Australian fur seal, it also consumes seabirds such as Little Penguins and Shearwaters.

The species is listed as rare under the Tasmanian Threatened Species Protection Act 1995 due to their low numbers. In Tasmania the population may be as low as only several thousand and they have not re-populated traditional areas such as Bass Strait. Further details are available at our threatened species site.