IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
IUCN Evaluation of the New Zealand Fur Seal, Arctocephalus forsteri
Prepared by the Pinniped Specialist Group
A. Population reduction Declines measured over the longer of 10 years or 3 generations
A1 CR > 90%; EN > 70%; VU > 50%
Al. Population reduction observed, estimated, inferred, or suspected in the past where the causes of the reduction are clearly reversible AND understood AND have ceased, based on and specifying any of the following:
(a) direct observation
(b) an index of abundance appropriate to the taxon
(c) a decline in area of occupancy (AOO), extent of occurrence (EOO) and/or habitat quality
(d) actual or potential levels of exploitation
(e) effects of introduced taxa, hybridization, pathogens, pollutants, competitors or parasites.
New Zealand Fur Seal abundance in New Zealand and Australia combined is approximately 200,000 individuals. The population trend is increasing. Most of the population in Australia is in South Australia, where pup production has been increasing by >12% per year on Kangaroo Island over a 20 year period. Generation time has been estimated as 9.9 years. Because the population is large and increasing, these criteria do not apply for this species.
A2, A3 & A4 CR > 80%; EN > 50%; VU > 30%
A2. Population reduction observed, estimated, inferred, or suspected in the past where the causes of reduction may not have ceased OR may not be understood OR may not be reversible, based on (a) to (e) under A1.
Commercial harvesting has ceased and populations have been increasing for at least the last 30 years. Therefore, these criteria do not apply for the species.
A3. Population reduction projected or suspected to be met in the future (up to a maximum of 100 years) based on (b) to (e) under A1.
A population reduction of New Zealand fur seals is not expected in the future. However, local impacts from fisheries by-catch in parts of the range, and/or global climate change may have detrimental impacts on the species.
A4. An observed, estimated, inferred, projected or suspected population reduction (up to a maximum of 100 years) where the time period must include both the past and the future, and where the causes of reduction may not have ceased OR may not be understood OR may not be reversible, based on (a) to (e) under A1.
The New Zealand Fur Seal population is still recovering from 18th, 19th and early 20th century sealing. Populations have been recovering over at least the last 30 years and are expected to continue to recover into the near future. Therefore, these criteria do not apply for the species.
B. Geographic range in the form of either B1 (extent of occurrence) AND/OR B2 (area of occupancy)
B1. Extent of occurrence (EOO): CR
The EOO is > 20,000 km².
B2. Area of occupancy (AOO): CR
The AOO is > 2,000 km².
AND at least 2 of the following:
(a) Severely fragmented, OR number of locations: CR = 1; EN (b) Continuing decline in any of: (i) extent of occurrence; (ii) area of occupancy; (iii) area, extent and/or quality of habitat; (iv) number of locations or subpopulations; (v) number of mature individuals.
(c) Extreme fluctuations in any of: (i) extent of occurrence; (ii) area of occupancy; (iii) number of locations or subpopulations; (iv) number of mature individuals.
None of the B criteria apply for this species.
C. Small population size and decline
Number of mature individuals: CR
Number of mature individuals is >10,000. These criteria do not apply for the species.
AND either C1 or C2:
C1. An estimated continuing decline of at least: CR = 25% in 3 years or 1 generation; EN = 20% in 5 years or 2 generations; VU = 10% in 10 years or 3 generations (up to a max. of 100 years in future)
C2. A continuing decline AND (a) and/or (b):
(a i) Number of mature individuals in each subpopulation: CR or
(a ii) % individuals in one subpopulation: CR = 90–100%; EN = 95–100%; VU = 100%
(b) Extreme fluctuations in the number of mature individuals.
None of the C criteria apply for this species.
D. Very small or restricted population
Number of mature individuals: CR AND/OR restricted area of occupancy typically: AOO
Number of mature individuals is >10,000. The AOO is > 2,000 km². Therefore, these criteria do not apply for the species.
E. Quantitative analysis
Indicating the probability of extinction in the wild to be: CR > 50% in 10 years or 3 generations (100 years max.); EN > 20% in 20 years or 5 generations (100 years max.); VU > 10% in 100 years
A PVA has been undertaken on the South Australian subpopulation, which suggested very low extinction probabilities. Therefore, these criteria do not apply for the species.
Listing recommendation — Populations of the New Zealand Fur Seal are presently increasing, and there is no evidence for sustained declines in any parts of their range. The breeding range of the species is still expanding in both New Zealand and Australia. Although the species is subject to by-catch in commercial fisheries in both New Zealand and Australia, these levels, at present do not appear to be inhibiting broad scale population recovery. The species should be categorized as Least Concern.
- 1996Lower Risk/least concern