Australian Sea Lion Neophoca cinerea
Australian Sea Lion, Kangaroo Island, South Australia, March 2006 - click for larger image Kangaroo Island, South Australia
March 2006

The Australian Sea Lion is found mainly on offshore islands of Western Australia and Southern Australia. There are only about 10,000 left but the population is stable and it is classified as Near Threatened.

Australian Sea Lion, Kangaroo Island, South Australia, March 2006 - click for larger image Compared to other Sea Lions, the bull's mane is moderate in size, as can be seen in photo 1, and yellowish-cream in colour. The size, size of the mane and colour vary with age and photo 4 shows a younger bull between two females.

The female is grey above and creamy-yellow below.

Australian Sea Lion, Kangaroo Island, South Australia, March 2006 - click for larger image Young pups are dark brown as in photos 2 and 3 while older pups are much paler as in photo 6.

Males are much larger than females weighing in at about 300 kilos, about 3 times the weight of a female.

They are very aggressive and pups are liable to attack from both bulls and females.

Australian Sea Lion, Kangaroo Island, South Australia, March 2006 - click for larger image Gestation period is 17½ months and females may still be nursing their previous pup when about to give birth to the next. Copulation takes place only 7 to 10 days after giving birth which is why the breeding beaches are so busy from October to January and so dangerous for young pups.
Australian Sea Lion, Kangaroo Island, South Australia, March 2006 - click for larger image
Australian Sea Lion, Kangaroo Island, South Australia, March 2006 - click for larger image
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