Species Profile and Threats Database

For information to assist proponents in referral, environmental assessments and compliance issues, refer to the Policy Statements and Guidelines (where available), the Conservation Advice (where available) or the Listing Advice (where available).
In addition, proponents and land managers should refer to the Recovery Plan (where available) or the Conservation Advice (where available) for recovery, mitigation and conservation information.

EPBC Act Listing Status Listed marine
Adopted/Made Recovery Plans
Policy Statements and Guidelines Marine bioregional plan for the South-west Marine Region (Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPaC), 2012z) [Admin Guideline].
Federal Register of
    Legislative Instruments
Declaration under section 248 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 - List of Marine Species (Commonwealth of Australia, 2000c) [Legislative Instrument].
State Government
    Documents and Websites
NSW:New Zealand Fur-seal - vulnerable species listing - NSW Scientific Committee-final determination (NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW DECCW), 2002l) [Internet].
NSW:New Zealand Fur-seal - profile (NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW DECCW), 2005nt) [Internet].
TAS:New Zealand Fur Seal (Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (TAS DIPWE), 2009ab) [Internet].
TAS:Arctocephalus forsteri (New Zealand Fur-seal): Species Management Profile for Tasmania's Threatened Species Link (Threatened Species Section (TSS), 2014xv) [State Action Plan].
State Listing Status
NSW: Listed as Vulnerable (Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 (New South Wales): December 2013)
TAS: Listed as Rare (Threatened Species Protection Act 1995 (Tasmania): Rare species: September 2012)
WA: Listed as Other protected fauna (Wildlife Conservation Act 1950 (Western Australia): September 2013)
Non-statutory Listing Status
VIC: Listed as Vulnerable (Advisory List of Threatened Vertebrate Fauna in Victoria: 2013)
Scientific name Arctocephalus forsteri [20]
Family Otariidae:Pinnipedia:Mammalia:Chordata:Animalia
Species author (Lesson,1828)
Infraspecies author  
Distribution map Species Distribution Map

This is an indicative distribution map of the present distribution of the species based on best available knowledge. See map caveat for more information.

Illustrations Google Images

Marine bioregional plans have been developed for four of Australia's marine regions - South-west, North-west, North and Temperate East. Marine Bioregional Plans will help improve the way decisions are made under the EPBC Act, particularly in relation to the protection of marine biodiversity and the sustainable use of our oceans and their resources by our marine-based industries. Marine Bioregional Plans improve our understanding of Australia's oceans by presenting a consolidated picture of the biophysical characteristics and diversity of marine life. They describe the marine environment and conservation values of each marine region, set out broad biodiversity objectives, identify regional priorities and outline strategies and actions to address these priorities. Click here for more information about marine bioregional plans.

The New Zealand Fur Seal has been identified as a conservation value in the South-west Marine Region. See Schedule 2 of the South-west Marine Bioregional Plan (DSEWPaC 2012z) for regional advice. The "species group report card - pinnipeds" for the South-west Marine Region provides additional information.

No threats data available.

Abbott, I. (1979a). The past and present distribution and status of sea lions and fur seals in Western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum. 7:375-390.

Anon (1991). Oil spill threat to New Zealand fur seals. Marine Pollution Bulletin. 11:166.

Arnould, J.P.Y., C.L. Littnan & G.M. Lento (2000). First contemporary record of New Zealand fur seals Arctocephalus forsteri breeding in Bass Strait. Australian Mammalogy. 22:57-61.

Brothers, N. & D. Pemberton (1990). Status of Australian and New Zealand fur seals at Maatsuyker Island, southwestern Tasmania. Australian Wildlife Research. 17:563-569.

Brunner, S. (1998). Cranial morphometrics of the southern fur seals Arctocephalus forsteri and A. pusillus (Carnivora: Otariidae). Australian Journal of Zoology. 46:67-108.

Brunner, S. (2000). Cranial morphometrics of fur seals and sea lions (Family: Otariidae) - systematics, geographic variation and growth. Ph.D. Thesis. Sydney: University of Sydney.

Crawley, M.C. (1990). Genus Arctocephalus. In: King, C.M., ed. The handbook of New Zealand mammals. Page(s) 244-256. Auckland, Oxford University Press.

Gales, N.J. (1991). New Zealand fur seals and oil: an overview of assessment, treatment, toxic effects and survivorship. The 1991 Sanko Harvest oil spill. Page(s) 35. WA CALM.

Goldsworthy, S.D. (1991). Status report on eared seals (Otariidae) in Australia and its territories. Page(s) 18. Prepared for the ANPWS, Endangered Species Program.

Goldsworthy, S.D. & Crawley, M.C. (1995). New Zealand fur-seal Arctocephalus forsteri (Lesson, 1828). In: Strahan, R., ed. The Mammals of Australia. Page(s) 675-677. Chatswood, Reed Books.

Goldsworthy, S.D. & Shaughnessy, P.D. (1994). Breeding biology and haul-out pattern of the New Zealand fur seal, Arctocephalus forsteri, at Cape Gantheaume, South Australia. Wildlife Research. 21:365-376.

Goldsworthy, S.D., L. Wynen, S. Robinson & P.D. Shaughnessy (1998). The population status and hybridisation of three sympatric fur seal species (Arctocephalus spp.) at Macquarie Island. New Zealand Natural Sciences. 23 Suppl:68.

Haynes-Lovell, K. (1994). The incidental stranding of pinnipeds on the far northern New South Wales and southern Queensland coasts. 1994 marine mammal symposium. Australian Mammal Society.

Hunter, J.E.B., P.J. Duignan, C. Dupont, L. Fray, S.G. Fenwick & A. Murray (1998). First report of potentially zoonotic tuberculosis in fur seals in New Zealand. New Zealand Medical Journal. 111:130-131.

Irvine, A., M.M. Bryden, P.J. Corkeron & R.M. Warneke (1997). A census of fur seals on Montague Island, New South Wales. In: Marine mammal research in the Southern Hemisphere. Page(s) 56-62. Chipping Norton, Sydney, Surrey Beatty & Sons.

King, J.E. (1976). On the identity of three young fur seals (genus Arctocephalus) stranded in New Caledonia (Mammalia: Pinnipedia). Beaufortia. 25:97-105.

Kirkwood, R., D. Pemberton & G. Copson (1992). The conservation and management of seals in Tasmania. Page(s) 48. Hobart: Department of Parks, Wildlife and Heritage.

Lento, G.M., M. Haddon, G.K. Chambers & C.S. Baker (1997). Genetic variation of Southern Hemisphere fur seals (Arctocephalus spp.): investigation of population structure and species identity. Journal of Heredity. 202-208.

Lento, G.M., R.H. Mattlin, G.K. Chambers & C.S. Baker (1994). Geographic distribution of mitochondrial cytochrome b DNA haplotypes in New Zealand fur seals (Arctocephalus forsteri). Canadian Journal of Zoology. 72:293-299.

Llewellyn, L., M. Ellis, J. Martin & A. Ferguson (1994). Atlas of New South Wales wildlife: marine mammals and reptiles. Page(s) 26. Hurstville: NSW NPWS.

Mawson, P.R. & D.K. Coughran (1999). Management of sick, injured and dead pinnipeds in Western Australia 1980-1996. Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia. 82:121-128.

Pemberton, D. (1996b). Port Lincoln tuna farms; dolphins, seals, sharks and seabirds. Page(s) 8. Hobart: Parks and Wildlife Service.

Pemberton, D. (1989). The interaction between seals and fish farms in Tasmania. Page(s) 96 pp. Department of Lands, Parks and Wildlife, Hobart.

Repenning, C.A., R.S. Peterson & C.L. Hubbs (1971). Contributions to the systematics of the southern fur seals, with particular reference to the Juan Fernández and Guadalupe species. In: Burt, W.H., ed. Antarctic pinnipedia. Page(s) 1-34. American Geophysical Union, Washington DC.

Schahinger, R.B. (1987). Structure of coastal upwelling events observed off the south-east coast of South Australia during February 1983 - April 1984. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research. 38:439-59.

Shaughnessy, P. (2000). Seal research in South Australia, 1999/2000: abundance of New Zealand fur seal pups on Kangaroo Island and the Neptune Islands. Page(s) 39. SA NPWS.

Shaughnessy, P., S. Briggs & R. Constable (2001). Observations on seals at Montague Island, New South Wales. Australian Mammalogy. 23:1-7.

Shaughnessy, P.D. (1995). Abundance of New Zealand fur seal Arctocephalus forsteri pups at Cape Gantheaume and Cape du Couedic colonies, Kangaroo Island, South Australia in 1994/1995. Page(s) 48 pp.H133. SA NPWS.

Shaughnessy, P.D. (1997). Abundance of New Zealand fur seals Arctocephalus forsteri at some colonies in South Australia, 1995/96. Page(s) 41. SA NPWS.

Shaughnessy, P.D. (1999). The Action Plan for Australian Seals. [Online]. Canberra: Environment Australia. Available from:

Shaughnessy, P.D., N.J. Gales, T.E. Dennis & S.D. Goldsworthy (1994). Distribution and abundance of New Zealand fur seals, Arctocephalus forsteri, in South Australia and Western Australia. Wildlife Research. 21:667-695.

Shaughnessy, P.D., R.J. Kirkwood & R.M. Warneke (2002). Australian fur seals, Arctocephalus pusillus doriferus; pup numbers at Lady Julia Percy Island, Victoria, and a synthesis of the species population status. Wildlife Research. 29 (2):185-192.

Shaughnessy, P.D., S.D. Goldsworthy & J.A. Libke (1995a). Changes in the abundance of New Zealand fur seals, Arctocephalus forsteri, on Kangaroo Island, South Australia. Wildlife Research. 22:201-215.

Warneke, R.M. (1982). The distribution and abundance of seals in the Australasian region, with summaries of biology and current research. In: Mammals in the seas, FAO Fisheries Series, No. 5, Vol. 4. Page(s) 431-475. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization.

Warneke, R.M. (1995b). Family Otariidae. In: Menkhorst, P.W., ed. Mammals of Victoria; distribution, ecology and conservation. Page(s) 251-256. Melbourne, Oxford University Press.

Wynen, L. P., S.D. Goldsworthy, C. Guinet, M.N. Bester, I.L. Boyd, I. Gjertz, G.J.G. Hofmeyr, R.G. White & R. Slade (2000). Postsealing genetic variation and population structure of two species of fur seal (Arctocephalus gazella and A. tropicalis). Molecular Ecology. 9:299-314.

EPBC Act email updates can be received via the Communities for Communities newsletter and the EPBC Act newsletter.

This database is designed to provide statutory, biological and ecological information on species and ecological communities, migratory species, marine species, and species and species products subject to international trade and commercial use protected under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act). It has been compiled from a range of sources including listing advice, recovery plans, published literature and individual experts. While reasonable efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, no guarantee is given, nor responsibility taken, by the Commonwealth for its accuracy, currency or completeness. The Commonwealth does not accept any responsibility for any loss or damage that may be occasioned directly or indirectly through the use of, or reliance on, the information contained in this database. The information contained in this database does not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth. This database is not intended to be a complete source of information on the matters it deals with. Individuals and organisations should consider all the available information, including that available from other sources, in deciding whether there is a need to make a referral or apply for a permit or exemption under the EPBC Act.

Citation: Department of the Environment (2014). Arctocephalus forsteri in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: Accessed Sat, 19 Apr 2014 17:50:45 +1000.