During the late 17th century, A. philippii were abundant, with the population estimated as high as 4 million. After one century of heavy exploitation, they were believed to be extinct until 1965, when they were observed on Alejandro Selkirk Island. Since 1965 the population has increased dramatically, with the current population estimated at more than 12,000. Species of Arctocephalus are on Appendix 2 of CITES, and the IUCN classifies A. philippii as vulnerable.
CITES: appendix ii
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: near threatened