Southern NZ Fur Seal.

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Southern Nz Fur Seal. Free Public Domain Cc0 Image

Kekeno – New Zealand fur seal – Arctocephalus forsteri New Zealand fur seal The most common seal on the New Zealand mainland is the New Zealand fur seal which breeds around the South Island and as far north as the Coromandel Peninsula on the North Island with males occasionally found north of Auckland. Fur seals were hunted by both Maori and Europeans and were close to extinction by the mid-1800s. After protection in the 1890s, the population has recovered well and is likely to be in excess of 50 000 and increasing as they continue to spread north. Fur seals are a grey to dark brown colour with adult males much larger (up to 2.5m, 180kg) than females (up to 1.5m, 70kg). Fur seals in New Zealand prefer rocky shores but as with all eared seals are able to move quite quickly on land. At sea they mainly use the front flippers and will often porpoise out of the water when moving quickly. They feed on squid, octopus and a variety of fish.

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