Our Latest News

History unlocked at Richmond Gaol

12/11/2018

Investment in the restoration of the Gaoler's House at Richmond Gaol will enhance the visitor experience at one of Tasmania's key historic sites.More

Campfire restrictions in national parks and reserves

09/11/2018

Restrictions on campfires, pot fires and other solid fuel stoves will come in to place from next Wednesday (November 14) at identified Parks and Wildlife Service (PWS) campgrounds around the State to help reduce the risk of bushfires.More

Godfreys Beach penguin viewing platform open

07/11/2018

The development of a new penguin viewing platform at Godfreys Beach at The Nut State Reserve in Stanley has recently been completed by the Parks and Wildlife Service.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.