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Last updated on April 23, 2014 at 12:38 EDT

New Zealand Sea Lion

The New Zealand Sea Lion or Hooker’s Sea Lion (Phocarctos hookeri) is a species of sea lion that breeds around the coast of New Zealand’s South Island and Stewart Island/Rakiura to some extent. They are also found around New Zealand’s sub-antarctic islands, especially the Auckland Islands. As one of the larger New Zealand animals, it has been a protected species since the 1890s.

There was thought to be a population of around 15,000 in the mid-1990s. This may have declined somewhat since an outbreak of disease in 1998 caused the deaths of 20% of adult females and 50% of pups that year. Estimates (based on pup-counts) are about 13,000 for 2004.

New Zealand Sea Lion