The action plan for Australian seals
P D Shaughnessy
CSIRO Wildlife and Ecology,
ISBN 0 6425 4617 7
About this action plan
There are ten pinniped species, or seals, regularly recorded in Australian waters. Three of them, the Australian sea-lion, New Zealand fur-seal and Australian fur-seal, breed on the coast of the Australian mainland (including Tasmania) and its nearshore islands. Another three species, the Antarctic fur-seal, Subantarctic fur-seal and southern elephant seal breed on Australia's Subantarctic islands (Macquarie, Heard and the McDonald Islands). The remaining four species breed in Antarctic waters: the leopard seal, crabeater seal and Ross seal on pack ice, and the Weddell seal on fast ice adjacent to the Antarctic mainland. Elephant seals and leopard seals are frequent visitors to Tasmania. The first five species are eared seals (family Otariidae) and the last five are earless or true seals (family Phocidae). Only one species is endemic, the Australian sea-lion.