<< Previous Next >>

Fur Seal

Fur Seal
Photo Information
Copyright: Jane Magen (jaycee) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2009-03-13
Categories: Mammals
Camera: Canon SX10IS
Exposure: f/5.7, 1/30 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2009-04-13 8:28
Viewed: 5100
Points: 46
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
This was taken from a boat in the Milford Sound.

New Zealand Fur Seals

The New Zealand fur seal, Arctocephalus forsteri (Lesson, 1828), like all fur "seals" is actually a sea lion (Family Otariidae), and is considered rare in New Zealand. These "seals" have pointed noses, long whiskers, and 2 layers of dark brown fur. Adult male New Zealand fur seals measure 1.5-2.5 m in length and weigh 120-180 kg. Adult females are smaller measuring 1-1.5 m in length and weighing 30-50 kg. This species has a shorter life span than other seal species, adult males live up to 15 years, females up to 12 years.

New Zealand fur seal, Arctocephalus forsteri, are found in both New Zealand and Australia. Exchange between the 2 populations is extremely limited.

In New Zealand, this fur seal species can be found on the rocky coastline in the southern portion of the country on South Island and on many of the offshore islands. Other important rookeries are found in the Open Bay Islands, Cape Foulwind, Cascade Point, Wekakura Point, the Otago Peninsula, the Nelson-northern Marlborough region, Fjordland and the islands of the Foveaux Strait. Three small rookeries have also been established on the North Island in recent years. The Bounty Islands are home to about 21,500 seals as estimated in 1994, the largest fur seal concentration in New Zealand. The population estimate in New Zealand is thought to be around 50,000, and is thought to be increasing.

The New Zealand fur seal, Arctocephalus forsteri, in New Zealand are opportunistic feeders feeding on cephalopods (Arrow squid) and fish such as anchovy, lanternfish, and hoki. Penguins on the subantarctic islands are occasionally consumed as well.

In New Zealand, Arctocephalus forsteri were hunted for their fur by Polynesians and Europeans for centuries, nearly to extinction by the 19th century. They are now protected by New Zealand's Marine Mammals Protection Act and are beginning to recover and re-colonize areas in their pre-exploitation range.

The species faces threats such as entanglement and drowning in fishing nets. One environmental group reported an estimate of more than 10,000 New Zealand fur seals drowned in trawl nets in New Zealand's fisheries between 1989 and 1998, more than 1,500 of which were killed during the 1997-1998 season. About 5,600 of these were killed by South Island's west coast hoki trawl fishery, more than 1,000 of which were killed during the 1998 season. As many as 23 seals have been caught in a single trawl net. Fortunately, in 1999 the number of fur seals caught in trawl nets was reduced to 215, however the reason for the reduction is unknown. Fisheries responsible for fur seals drownings include the southern blue whiting trawl fishery around the Bounty Islands, the Snares Island shelf squid fishery, the Puysegur hoki fishery, and the jack mackerel trawl fishery off the west coast of the South Island. Environmental groups are also pushing for the development of effective marine mammal exclusion devices in trawl nets.

Conflicts between New Zealand fur seals and aquaculture installations have also been reported. In 2001, to reduce the number of farmed salmon being consumed by seals, an aquaculture operation put in a request to the New Zealand Department of Conservation (DOC) to capture fur seals near its salmon farms in the Marlborough Sounds for relocation around the South Island. The DOC rejected the request stating that the process would have a negative impact on the seals. Environmental organizations applauded the decision recommending that seal-proof barriers be installed instead.

A Marine Mammal Sanctuary has been established in the Auckland Islands to protect the New Zealand sea lion Phocarctos hookeri, which is also within the New Zealand fur seal's range. New Zealand's subantarctic islands were granted "World Heritage" status by UNESCO in 1998.


lousat, nglen, siggi, zetu, Alex99, haraprasan, Dis. Ac., boreocypriensis, zulfu, Argus, maurydv, bahadir, xTauruSx, eqshannon, techranger, fiyo, CeltickRanger, goldyrs has marked this note useful
Only registered TrekNature members may rate photo notes.
Add Critique [Critiquing Guidelines] 
Only registered TrekNature members may write critiques.
ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To yasemin: :)))boreocypriensis 1 04-14 12:51
To demeve: NZjaycee 1 04-13 11:28
You must be logged in to start a discussion.

Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2009-04-13 8:49]

HI Jane,not a usual guest of TN! Very interesting note and great pic,excellents sharpenss and colors,you was lucky to saw that!! My best compliments,have a nice day,luciano

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2009-04-13 8:50]

Hi Jane, You have done well if this was taken from a boat. You have managed to get good detail and natural colours in the skin. We can see its long wiskers. I like the rock pstterns in the BG. well done TFS. Interesting notes too.

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2009-04-13 9:02]

Hello Jane,
What a beautiful picture of this seal. the detail and sharpness is excellent and you have the DOF spot on.
Best regards Siggi

  • Great 
  • zetu Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 967 W: 26 N: 3888] (16941)
  • [2009-04-13 9:28]

Hello Jane
Nice capture. I like it.

Hi Jane,
A nice capture of this beautiful fur seal. Very well composed with good details. Thanks a lot for sharing.

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2009-04-13 9:58]

Hi Jane.
It is definitely not a bird :). Very impressive place and nice picture of a cute animal. I like POV and framing a lot. Very natural lights and colours and pleasantly looking shot. My compliments and best regards.

Hello Jane,
Very nice Seal, I like how the Seal blends with it's environment
and he seems very a peace. Great POV, It's my dream to go to New
Zealand you are very lucky.. Well done


Hi Jane,

very nice picture from this Seal.
Good composition and pov.
fine colours.


What a lovely and wonderful capture of this pretty seal on the rocks from a nice POV with nice composition.
TFS and have a good night!

  • Great 
  • zulfu Gold Star Critiquer [C: 685 W: 0 N: 2] (43)
  • [2009-04-13 11:33]

Hello Jane, excellent image, nice composition and colors.
TFS and G's.

hello Jane
great shot with good details
good light and colours
great shot
greeting lou

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2009-04-13 12:21]

Hello Jane,
A fine capture of a NZ Fur Seal, especially since it has been taken from a boat. The POV shows its features well with good sharpness and it looks quite at home in the rocky setting.
Thanks for another great wild life image from your trip to Oceania,

Hello Jane,
a beatiful and interesting capture of New Zealand fur seal taken with good timing from the boat, beautiful natural colours in a very nice composition.
Best regards

Hello Jane, lovely shot of this pretty seal.
TFS and regards,

Hello Jane, a pretty fur seal and its wonderful shot.
tfs and greetings,

Well it may not make a 'Navy Seal' out of you but a real one this is most certainly and since the Navy Seals are in the limelight this day...I congratulate you are on your synchronicity!

Very nicely composed and the overall effect of the seal looking up combined with the rock formation and colors/lighting makes for a very pleasing capture Jane. I like it... :) TFS


Ciao Jane, great capture of lovelycreature in nice pose, good details and splendid sharpness, very well done, ciao Silvio

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2009-04-14 8:41]

Hello Jane,
Beautiful photo of this seal in a fantastic composition. The colours are very natural and the sharpness is good. Very good choice of POV.

Hi Jane.
Well done. Interesting notes and nice picture you catch.Color and detail very clear, specially wiskers..TFS.

  • Great 
  • fiyo Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1053 W: 5 N: 3475] (15161)
  • [2009-04-14 13:59]

Merhaba Jane,
çok güzel bir fotoğraf. Bakış açısı, ve kompozisyon olarak çok başarılı olmuş.
Tebrik ederim.

hello Jane

we can say that this New Zealand Fur Seal is perfectly
camouflaged with his environment, fine POV, DOF
and framing, excellent sharpness and details, TFS


What a lovely shot I've missed, Sis!
This is a first for me..I never knew such a creature existed!
Very well done!

Calibration Check