Subantarctic Fur-seal  |  

Arctocephalus tropicalis

Status: Endangered on the EPBC Act list

The subantarctic fur-seal has distinctive coloration that distinguishes it from congeneric species, the Antarctic fur-seal (A. gazella) and the long-nosed fur-seal. Adult males have chocolate brown to black fur on their upperparts with a contrasting yellow chest and face, and a well-developed mane, chest and shoulders. They have a crest of black fur on the top of the head which becomes erect when excited. Adult females are lighter in colour, being dark grey or dark chocolate brown on their upperparts, and pale yellow on their chest and face. Pups are glossyblack with a dark chocolate brown belly. The species has long white sensory whiskers and external ears. The species is sexually dimorphic with adult males measuring 150−190 cm in length and weighing 90−160 kg; while adult females are 100−140 cm with a weight of 30−50 kg. Newborns are 60−70 cm and weigh 4−6 kg.

Government evidence of impact of climate change:

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  • Australian Government, Conservation Advice, Arctocephalus tropicalis

    Climate and oceanographic variability and change consequently appear to have important influences on breeding success through foraging success and subsequent fecundity and quality of offspring (Goldsworthy et al.; 2008).
    Threat factor Consequence Distributional Evidence base rating extent over which threat may operate Climate and Moderate Broad Increased sea surface oceanographic Large temperatures in the foraging variability and grounds north of Macquarie change Island during autumn has a strong negative relationship with fecundity rates in fur seals; leading to lower pupping rates and pup growth rates during the following breeding season (Goldsworthy et al.; 2008).