Our Latest News

Second round of consultation begins on the future of Freycinet Peninsula

13/03/2019

Tasmania's unrivalled natural environment is a key driver in our nation-leading visitor economy and the Freycinet Peninsula is one of our most popular tourism destinations.More

Sustainable Timber Tasmania and Parks and Wildlife Service issue safety message

08/03/2019

Over the coming weeks, a number of roads inside of fire impacted areas will reopen.More

Southwest ecological burns important for orange-bellied parrot conservation

22/03/2018

Planned ecological burns in Southwest National Park will help regenerate important habitat areas for the critically endangered orange-bellied parrot.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.