The Australian Sea Lion (Neophoca Cinerea) are a protected species living only on the coasts of WA from the Abrolhos Islands down to SA.
Males or Bulls weigh up to 350 kg and congregate in bachelor groups e.g. Carnac Island off the coast near Fremantle. These are call haul out islands. The males are larger, darker with a light yellow mane. They mature at 8 – 9 years. The Dominant male will guard the females for the right to breed during breeding season.
Females are silver grey to fawn and approx. weigh 70 to 100 kg. Females come into season for only 24 hours 7 – 10 days after she has given birth to her pup. After 14 month gestation pups are born weighting 6-8 kg. They are unable to swim at birth and do not begin to forage until they are 4-5 month old. The pup is nursed for 15 – 18 mths. The female’s pups return to their island of birth to breed.
Seal lions have short flippers to propel themselves in water and allow them to walk on land with all four flippers.
They are benthic feeders (sea floor feeders) foraging up to 90 met on octopus, squid, fish, cuttlefish, crayfish and even sea birds.
Life span 12 – 25 years.