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New Zealand Fur Seal

The New Zealand fur seal or Southern fur seal (kokono in the Māori language), Arctocephalus fosteri, is a species of fur seal found around the south coast of Australia. It is also found on the coast of the South Island of New Zealand, and some of the small islands to the south and east of there. Male-only colonies are also located on the Cook Strait coast of the North Island near Wellington. The species has two common names because the Australian and New Zealand populations do not overlap. Although the two populations show some genetic differences, their morphologies are very similar indeed, and thus remain classed as a single species.

These seals were widely hunted from shortly after the European discovery of New Zealand until the late 19th Century. The population of the New Zealand seal fell to levels under 10% of the original numbers. In New Zealand the Fur Seal is now protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (1978).

New Zealand Fur Seal


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