Story: Seals

Distribution of seals in New Zealand

This map shows regular breeding and haul-out sites, but fur seals also come ashore anywhere along the coast near feeding grounds.

Most New Zealand sea lion pups are born on the Auckland Islands. Some have been reported on southern South Island coasts, and on Stewart Island.

Southern elephant seals breed on the Antipodes Islands and Campbell Island, where the population declined by over 95% from 1945 to 1990. The main breeding population in the region is on Macquarie Island (Australian territory). Occasionally pups are born on the South Island coast.

Leopard seals spend summer close to the Antarctic pack ice, but in winter many travel north. Some young individuals visit New Zealand’s subantarctic islands, the South Island and lower North Island.

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How to cite this page:

Lloyd Spencer Davis, 'Seals - New Zealand sea lion', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/interactive/6187/distribution-of-seals-in-new-zealand (accessed 29 September 2020)

Story by Lloyd Spencer Davis, published 12 Jun 2006