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Subantarctic Fur Seal


Arctocephalus tropicalisSub-antarctic Fur Seal

Group:Chordata (vertebrates), Mammalia (mammals), Carnivora (Carnivores), Otariidae (Eared seals)
Status:Threatened Species Protection Act 1995: endangered
Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999: Vulnerable
Found in Tasmania and elsewhere
Click to enlarge
Small breeding colonies of Sub-antarctic Fur Seals occur on Macquarie Island. The once large and expansive indigenous population was exterminated from Macquarie Island by the early 19th century by sealers. The species has only slowly begun to recover through recolonisation from natural immigration from other colonies further west around Marion Island and South Georgia. They favour the rocky coasts and rock platforms around the island, especially to the north of the isthmus. The species eats mainly krill (small crustaceans), fish, squid and occasionally penguins. The species also occurs on Heard Island. Threats are from deliberate persecution and hunting, entanglement in fishing gear, marine pollution including oil, chemicals and plastics, disturbance to breeding colonies and depletion of food stocks due to unsustainable commercial fishing.

Source; Bryant, S. L. and Jackson, J. (1999). Tasmania’s Threatened Fauna Handbook. Threatened Species Unit, Parks and Wildlife Service, Hobart.

A complete species management profile is not currently available for this species. Check for further information on this page and any relevant Activity Advice.​


Key Points

  • Important: Is this species in your area? Do you need a permit? Ensure you’ve covered all the issues by checking the Planning Ahead page.
  • Important: Different threatened species may have different requirements. For any activity you are considering, read the Activity Advice pages for background information and important advice about managing around the needs of multiple threatened species.



Helping the species


Cutting or clearing trees or vegetation










Changing water flow / quality


Use of chemicals




Further information

​Check also for listing statement or notesheet pdf above (below the species image).

​​Cite as: Threatened Species Section (). (): Species Management Profile for Tasmania's Threatened Species Link. ​ ​Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania. Accessed on .

Contact details: Threatened Species Section, Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania​, GPO Box 44, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, 7001. Phone (1300 368 550).

Permit: A permit is required under the Tasmanian Threatened Species Protection Act 1995 to 'take' (which includes kill, injure, catch, damage, destroy and collect), keep, trade in or process any specimen or products of a listed species. Additional permits may also be required under other Acts or regulations to take, disturb or interfere with any form of wildlife or its products, (e.g. dens, nests, bones). This may also depend on the tenure of the land and other agreements relating to its management. ​​​​​