We estimated population abundance of New Zealand fur seal (Arctocephalus forsteri) pups on Bench Island off Stewart Island, New Zealand seven times between 1996 and 2012. Overall, there was a 29% increase in pup abundance from 1996 to 2012 at the Main Beach colony, corresponding to a mean annual growth rate of 1.6% and a doubling time of approximately 40 years. At the Sprat Point colony, there was an overall increase of 29% between 2003 and 2012 corresponding to a mean annual growth rate of 2.9% and a doubling time of approximately 25 years. The area occupied by both colonies has also increased. In 2006, we surveyed East Beach and counted a total of 201 pups. We obtained traditional ecological knowledge of fur seal distribution and breeding status from local Ma¯ori for 46 locations around Stewart Island, 36 of which have not been surveyed since Wilson in 1971-1974; this supports an expansion of fur seal presence and breeding areas in the region in the last 41 years.
|Number of pages||13|
|Journal||New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research|
|Publication status||Published - 2015|