PORT PHILLIP BAY


Australian Sea Lion 

Neophoca cinerea

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

See below for information.

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Chordata
Subphylum:
Vertebrata
Class:
Mammalia
Order:
Carnivora
Family:
Otariidae
Genus:
Neophoca
Species:
cinerea

General Description

Males have dark brown upperparts and cream to white underparts. Females and young males have fawn to silvery-grey upperparts and fawn underparts. Younger males may also have spots on their chest. Cream whiskers. Pups are chocolate brown. Up to 2.5 m long.

Biology

Australian Sea Lions are one of the rarest seal species in the world and are only occasionally seen along the Victorian coastline. Breeding occurs every 18 months and young are born at various times over a six month period. Pups often form groups in rock pools. Australian Seal Lions also swallow small stones, which is thought to provide weight balance when diving for food. They are preyed upon by Great White Sharks.

Humans interactions include:
Populations on Kangaroo Island are a major tourist attraction.

Habitat

Coastal and continental shelf waters, sandy beaches, to depth of 40 m.

Open water

Distribution guide

Western Australia to islands of southern Australia, including Tasmania. Potentially near Port Phillip, recorded from Victoria.

Species Group

Mammals Seals

Depth

Shore (0-1 m)
Shallow (1-30 m)
Deep ( > 30 m)

Water Column

Surface Midwater

Max Size

2.5 m

Diet

Carnivore

Commercial Species

No

Global Dispersal

Native to Australia

Conservation Status

  • DSE Advisory List : Not listed
  • EPBC Act 1999 : Vulnerable
  • IUCN Red List : Endangered

Author

article author Fitzgerald, E.

Dr. Erich Fitzgerald is a Senior Curator of palaeontology at Museum Victoria.

Author

article author Jefferies, R.

Dr. Ryan Jefferies is a volunteer online editor at Museum Victoria.

citation

Cite this page as:
Fitzgerald, E. & Jefferies, R., 2011, Australian Sea Lion, Neophoca cinerea, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 29 May 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/5722

Text: creative commons cc by licence