Marine Mammal Science & Conservation

South American fur seal

South American fur seal (Arctocephalus australis)

Group formation: Gregarious 10->100, male territories during breeding, females stay on rookeries

Size: males 2 m, females 1.5 m, calf 60-65 cm

Weight: males 200 kg, females 30-60 kg, calf 3.5-5.5 kg

Age: males 15-20 yrs, females 25-30 yrs

Sexual maturity: males 7 yrs, females 3 yrs

Gestation: 12 mths

Weaning: 7 mths to 3yrs dep. on environment

Diet: forage at night for anchovies, sardines, mackerel, cephalopods, crustaceans, bivalve mollusks, and gastropods.

Predators: sharks, killer whales, sea lions

Distribution: along the coast of South America, in Brazil; Chile; Falkland Islands (Malvinas); Peru; Uruguay

Chile: there are many colonies inside the fjords of Aysen and are a common sight, there are conflicts with salmon farms

Population size: 250 000

Conservation Status: Least Concern ver 3.1, Pop. trend: increasing

Threats: Illegal catches (especially around aquaculture), habitat degradation, chemical and plastic pollution, entanglement in fishing gear, bycatch, over fishing