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6 May 2015 The long-nosed fur seal (Arctocephalus forsteri) in South Australia in 2013–14: abundance, status and trends
P. D. Shaughnessy, S. D. Goldsworthy, A. I. Mackay
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The long-nosed (or New Zealand) fur seal (Arctocephalus forsteri) breeds in southern Australia and New Zealand. Most of the Australian population is in South Australia, between Kangaroo Island and Eyre Peninsula. Fur seal populations in southern Australia were heavily exploited by colonial sealers between 1801 and 1830, resulting in major reductions. Numbers remained low for 150 years, then slowly built up and new colonies established across their presumed former range. Here we present estimates of pup abundance at South Australia colonies, mostly during the 2013–14 breeding season.

Long-nosed fur seals bred from Baudin Rocks in the south-east to Fenelon Island in the north-west. In total, 29 breeding colonies produced 20 431 pups, 3.6 times greater than the 1989–90 estimate; the increase is attributed to recovery from 19th century overharvesting. The 2013–14 pup estimate leads to an estimate of abundance of long-nosed fur seals in South Australia of 97 200.

Most pups were on Kangaroo Island (49.6%) and the Neptune Islands (38.6%). New breeding colonies were identified on Williams Island and at two small sites on Kangaroo Island. The increasing trend in South Australia is likely to continue over the coming decade, primarily by expansion in colonies on Kangaroo Island and by establishment of new colonies.

© CSIRO 2015
P. D. Shaughnessy, S. D. Goldsworthy, and A. I. Mackay "The long-nosed fur seal (Arctocephalus forsteri) in South Australia in 2013–14: abundance, status and trends," Australian Journal of Zoology 63(2), 101-110, (6 May 2015).
Received: 3 December 2014; Accepted: 1 March 2015; Published: 6 May 2015
Arctocephalus forsteri
New Zealand fur seal
population recovery
pup abundance
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