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

Leopard Seal, Hydrurga leptonyx

Leopard seals are one of the most awesome marine predators and the only seal to regularly prey on warm-blooded animals such as penguins, birds and other seals. Female leopard seals are actually larger than males and can reach 600 kg and 3.6 m in length. Leopard seals are more slender than elephant seals, having a long streamlined body, constricted neck and a massive lizard-like head. They are coloured grey above and light grey below with dark spots (hence the name 'leopard' seal). Although both the elephant and leopard seal breed far to the south of Tasmania, individuals migrate into our waters and may come ashore to rest. Usually people assume the seal is sick or injured, however, often the seal is just resting and will head south after they have concluded their 'holiday'!

Please contact Parks and Wildlife if you see a Leopard seal. It is important for your own safety not to disturb the animal. It is recommended that observers keep a 10 metre distance from animal. See our guidelines for observing seals in the wild for further information.

Leopard seals breed on the Antarctic pack ice and range from the Antarctic coast to the sub-antarctic and sub-tropical seas. An average of five leopard seals visit the coast of Tasmania each year, but up to 18 have been sighted in one year (1990). In 1999, four leopard seals were reported.

'Scats' or faeces have been collected from leopard seals that haul out in Tasmania and studies indicate that whilst in Tasmanian waters the seals are preying upon shearwaters, cormorants and little penguins, as well as cephalopods and fish.

Leopard seals use a range of vocalisations as you can hear here.