Photo: Hookers Sea Lion Waipapa Point South Island New Zealand

A Hookers Sea Lion, native to New Zealand, relaxes on the beach at Waipapa Point along the Catlins Coastal Heritage Trail, which is part of the Southern Scenic Route in Southland, the South Island of New Zealand.

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Photo: 
Hookers Sea Lion Waipapa Point South Island New Zealand
Photo of a Hooker Sea Lion at Waipapa Point along the Catlins Coastal Heritage Trail, South Island, New Zealand.
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Hookers Sea Lions, Phocarctos hookeri, is native to New Zealand, and breeds around the South Island in the country, as well as the Auckland Islands. It has been protected by the New Zealand government since the 1890s, and around the mid-1990s there was about 15,000 of them left, but they may have declined somewhat due to a disease outbreak in 1998 that caused about 20% of the adult females to die and about 50% of the pups. This will severely affect the population numbers, especially in the case of the pups dying.

Since 1998, there has also been some controversy with squid fishing, as the sea lions are getting caught in the squid nets, despite efforts from the government and the fisherman to reduce this risk. In 2007, 15 sea lions were caught in nets alone. Most of the sea lions that are caught are adult females, as squid fishing also occurs during pupping season near the rocks, so when an adult female is caught, the pup dies too, and this could cause three deaths. One is the female, one is the pup that she already has, and one is the unborn pup that she is carrying.

The area where this photograph was taken, Waipapa Point, is a rocky outcrop on the south coast of the South Island of New Zealand. The coastline around this deep south region is extremely rugged and there have been many ships wrecked here. The Waipapa Point lighthouse was installed here in 1884 to warn sailors of the rocks, but not before many ships and some sailors have been lost.

Hookers Sea Lion, Phocarctos Hookeri, on the beach at Waipapa Point along the Catlins Coastal Heritage Trail, Southern Scenic Route, Southland, South Island, New Zealand.

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Technical Information for this photo:

I photographed this photo with the digital SLR camera model Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II, aperture of f/6.3, exposure time of 1/800 sec. on ISO 100, as always I used a original Canon Lens, the focus lenght for this picture was 330mm.

Photo:
Hookers Sea Lion Waipapa Point South Island New Zealand
Scientific Name:
Photographer:
Rolf Hicker Photography
Picture ID:
nzk3s6534

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