New Zealand sea lion
The New Zealand sea lion (Phocarctos hookeri) also known as Hooker's sea lion or whakahao in Māori is a species of sea lion that breeds around the coast of New Zealand's South Island and Stewart Island/Rakiura to some extent, and to a greater extent around the New Zealand Sub-Antarctic Islands, especially the Auckland Islands. It is monotypic of its genus.
Characteristics and taxonomy
New Zealand lions, like all otariids, have marked sexual dimorphism. Adult males are 240-350 cm long and weigh 320-450 kg and adult females are 180-200 cm long and weigh 90-165 kg. At birth, pups are 70-100 cm long and weigh 7-8 kg; the natal pelage is a thick coat of dark brown hair that becomes dark gray with cream markings on the top of the head, nose, tail and at the base of the flippers. Adult females' coats vary from buff to creamy gray with darker pigmentation around the muzzle and the flippers. Adult males are blackish-brown with a well-developed black mane of coarse hair reaching the shoulders.
There was thought to be a population of around 15,000 in the mid-1990s. Estimates (based on the number of pups born) were about 9,000 for 2008.
In 2010 the Department of Conservation - responsible for marine mammal conservation - changed the New Zealand Threat Classification System ranking from Nationally Endangered to Nationally Critical.
Though the Auckland Island sea lion pup production is highly variable, a longer decline is evident following the outbreak of the introduced bacterial disease Camylobacter in 1998 which killed an estimated 53 per cent of newborn pups and 20 per cent of adult females. In 2002, another introduced bacterial disease Klebsiella pneumonae killed 32 per cent of pups, and in 2003 another 21 per cent of the pups.
For the first time in 150 years sea lions began breeding again on the South Island coast in 1994, on the Otago Peninsula. The Otago sea lion population is currently small but estimated to reach 1000 animals by 2044, leading to issues of ‘marine protected areas, local fishing quotas and numbers management.’ 
A Court of Appeal of New Zealand judgement of 7 April 2004, (with the reasons issued separately on 13 July 2004 (CA39/04)), overturned a decision by the Minister of Fisheries that only 62 sea lions could be taken as bycatch by squid fishers, based on advice from the New Zealand Ministry of Fisheries. The Court increased the bycatch to 124 sea lions in the 2004 season, saying the Minister's imposition of the lower figure (one of the lowest ever imposed in the 20-year history of such restrictions) was going beyond what the law required.
In January 2009 the Fisheries Minister allowed a kill of 113 sea lions by the squid fishery, an increase in 40 percent over the previous season. This was condemned by the Forest and Bird conservation organisation since the sea lion population is under threat and in decline. The Ministry for Primary Industries set a limit of fishing related mortality of 68 for the 2012 - 2013 season.
- Gales, N. (2008). Phocarctos hookeri. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 30 January 2009. Listed as Vulnerable (VU A3b)
- Perrin, William. Encyclopedia of marine mammals.
- "Forest & Bird condemns 40% rise in sea lion quota". Forest & Bird. 2008-12-19. http://forestandbird.colo.onesquared.net/what-we-do/publications/media-releases/forest-bird-condemns-40-rise-in-sea-lion-quota. Retrieved 2009-01-27.
- "New Zealand Sea Lion". NZ Department of Conservation. http://www.doc.govt.nz/conservation/native-animals/marine-mammals/seals/new-zealand-sea-lion/. Retrieved 2009-01-27.
- McFadgen, B.G. (March 1994). Archaeology and holocene sand dune stratigraphy on Chatham Island. 24. Royal Society of New Zealand. http://www.rsnz.org/publish/jrsnz/1994/2.php. Retrieved 2008-08-25.[dead link]
- "Zero quota urged for sea lion". Radio New Zealand. 19 June 2010. http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/stories/2010/06/19/12480a424c2a. Retrieved 20 June 2010.
- Kate Mulcahy and Raewyn Peart (2012). Wonders of the Sea – the protection of New Zealand’s marine mammals. New Zealand Environmental Defence Society. pp. 320. ISBN 978-0-9876660-1-7.
- "New Zealand sea lion". WWF. http://www.wwf.org.nz/what_we_do/species/new_zealand_sea_lion/. Retrieved 25 November 2012.
- "NZ sea lions facing extinction in 24 years - study". nzherald.co.nz. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10778098. Retrieved 25 November 2012.
- Augé, A.A; A.B. Moore, B.L. Chilvers (2012). "Predicting interactions between recolonizing marine mammals and fisheries: defining precautionary management". Fisheries Management and Ecology. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2400.2012.00861.x.
- "Squid fishery decision reflects new research". NZ Minister for Primary Industries. http://beehive.govt.nz/release/squid-fishery-decision-reflects-new-research. Retrieved December 2012.
- Randall R. Reeves, Brent S. Stewart, Phillip J. Clapham and James A. Powell (2002). National Audubon Society Guide to Marine Mammals of the World. Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. ISBN 0375411410.