Marine Mammals

Elephant seals. Photo by K.Walker

Elephant seals. Photo by K.Walker

Fur seal (Arctocephalus forsteri), Subantarctic fur seal (Arctocephalus  tropicalis) and the Nationally Critical Southern Elephant seal (Mirouga leoni) are found on Antipodes Island.

Soon after the discovery of Antipodes in 1800, the islands’s rich seal populations were targeted for the fur trade. Over 300,000 fur seal skins were removed from the island between 1805 and 1810, (280,000 in 1806 alone), causing the collapse of the local population.

Today the population of fur seals is recovering on Antipodes Island. R. Taylor has observed this increase from 3 previously recorded sample sites; In March 1985 the total was 504 animals, in March 2014 the total had increased to 1161 animals. In 2014 the Antipodes Island/Moutere Mahue Marine Reserve was created.

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Antipodes Marine Mammal species list.