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New Zealand fur seals (Arctocephalus forsteri) are a non-migratory coastal species. Prior to being driven to near extinction, the population was historically found all around the North and South Islands including many offshore islands and sub-Antarctic islands. Today, they are found in New Zealand, around South Island, Big Green Island, Open Bay Islands, West Coast, Cape Foulwind, Cascade Point, Wekakura Point, Three Kings Islands, eastern Bass Strait, the Nelson-northern Marlborough region, Fjordland, New Zealand's sub-Antarctic islands Snares, Campbell, Chatham Islands, Antipodes, Bounty Islands, Stewart Island, the islands of the Foveaux Strait, a small colony at Cape Palliser near Wellington on the North Island and near the continental shelf edge of Otago Peninsula. There is also a population in southern and western Australia, Kangaroo Island, Tasmania and Victorian coastal waters, although the two New Zealand and Australian populations rarely overlap. On Australia’s sub-Antarctic Macquarie Island, a population of young non-breeding males was discovered. They are believed to have originated from New Zealand. The distribution of seals across this range is largely a result of the distribution of their food source. When New Zealand fur seals migrate it’s during the breeding season. However, during the summer, they stay closer to the rookery (70 to 80 km) then they do during the fall and winter seasons (162 to 178 km).
Biogeographic Regions: australian (Native ); oceanic islands (Native ); indian ocean (Native ); pacific ocean (Native )
Other Geographic Terms: island endemic