The Australian Sea Lion (Neophoca Cinerea) are a protected species and can be found as far north as the Abrolhos Islands out of Geraldton and as far down south as South Australia, Kangaroo Island.
Matured Males or Bulls can weigh between 300 to 400 kg and congregate in bachelor groups for example on Carnac Island off the coast near Fremantle. These are call haul out islands. The males are larger and darker in colour with a light-yellow mane. They mature at 8 – 9 years old. The dominant male will guard the females for the right to breed during breeding season.
Females are silver grey to fawn and weigh approximately 70 to 100 kg. Females come into season for only 24 hours 7 – 10 days after they have given birth to a pup. After a 17-month gestation period the pups are born weighing 6 – 8 kg. They are unable to swim at birth and do not begin to forage until they are 4 – 5 months old. The pup is nursed for 15 – 18 months before hunting for themselves. The female pups return to their island of birth to breed.
Sea Lions have four fins – they propel themselves with their front and steer with their back. They also have a pelvic bone in their rear which allows them to stand on all four and run like a dog on land.
They are benthic feeders (sea floor feeders) foraging up to 90 metres deep on octopus, squid, fish, cuttlefish, crayfish and even sea birds.
Their life span ranges from 20 – 25 years.