Australian Sea Lion
The Australian Sea Lion (Neophoca cinerea) is a species of sea lion that breeds only on the south coast of Australia. Today there are about 12,000 Australian Sea Lions following the introduction of the Australian National Parks and Wildlife Act of 1972.
The Australian Sea Lion inhabits the ocean around Australia, and nowhere else. They only eat at sea. They hunt fish, squid, and other sea creatures. They have front-flippers that allow them to propel quickly through water and be more agile on land by being able to walk on all four flippers.
The breeding cycle of the Australian sea lion is the most unusual of the entire pinniped family. It is an 18-month cycle and is not synchronized between colonies. The duration of the breeding season can range from 5 to 7 months and has been recorded for up to 9 months at Seal Bay on Kangaroo Island.
Bulls do not have fixed territories during the breeding season. The males fight other males from very young to establish their individual positions in the male hierarchy. During the breeding season, dominant males will guard females for the right to breed with her when she comes into oestrus. A female comes into season for about 24 hours within 7 to 10 days after she has given birth to her new pup. She will only look after the new pup and generally fights off the previous season’s pup if it attempts to continue to suckle from her.