Our Latest News

Easter safety is paramount for our parks and reserves

18/04/2019

The Parks and Wildlife Service encourages visitors and Tasmanians alike to get outdoors and get active - especially in our parks and reserves.More

Good news, Hartz Mountain National Park and other tracks are open!

17/04/2019

In time for Easter walking, PWS have been able to re-open a number of tracks.More

New Mt Mawson Shelter officially opened ahead of ski season

29/03/2019

The new Mt Mawson Public Shelter was today officially opened and will provide a new level of amenity for southern Tasmania's only ski field, as well as upgraded facilities for bushwalkers heading to the iconic Tarn Shelf walk in Mt Field National Park.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.