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Continued population recovery by Australian fur seals

journal contribution
posted on 2010-06-01, 00:00 authored by R Kirkwood, D Pemberton, R Gales, Andrew Hoskins, T Mitchell, John ArnouldJohn Arnould
Australian fur seals (Arctocephalus pusillus doriferus) are conspicuous, top-level predators in coastal waters of south-eastern Australia that were over-harvested during the 1800s and have had a delayed recovery. A previous species-wide estimate of live pups in 2002 recorded a near-doubling of annual pup production and a 5% annual growth rate since the 1980s. To determine if pup production increased after 2002, we estimated live pup numbers in 2007. Pups were recorded at 20 locations: 10 previously known colonies, three newly recognised colonies and seven haul-out sites where pups are occasionally born. Two colonies adjacent to the Victorian coast accounted for 51% of live pups estimated: Seal Rocks (5660 pups, 25.9%) and Lady Julia Percy Island (5574 pups, 25.5%). Although some colonies were up and some were down in pup numbers, the 2007 total of 21 882±187 (s.e.) live pups did not differ significantly from a recalculated estimate of 21 545±184 in 2002, suggesting little change to overall population size. However, the colonisation of three new sites between 2002 and 2007 indicates population recovery has continued.

History

Journal

Marine and freshwater research

Volume

61

Issue

6

Pagination

695 - 701

Publisher

CSIRO Publishing

Location

Collingwood, Vic.

ISSN

1323-1650

eISSN

1448-6059

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2010, CSIRO