Fur Seals and Sea Lions


eBook - June 2013 - eRetailers

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Outlines the comparative ecology and biology of the Australian fur seal, New Zealand fur seal and Australian sea lion.

Fur seals and sea lions are charismatic, large carnivores that engage us with both their skill and playful antics. Although all species in Australian waters were harvested to near extinction 200 years ago, fur seals are recovering and are now common in near-shore waters across southern Australia. Sea lions, however, are endangered. Their populations appear not to have recovered like fur seals and are declining at some locations. Fur seals and sea lions are important top level predators and play an important role in Australia’s temperate marine ecosystems. Key threats they currently face relate to human activities, particularly interactions with fisheries. + Full description

This book outlines the comparative evolutionary ecology, biology, life-history, behaviour, conservation status, threats, history of human interactions and latest research on the three species of otariids that live in the waters of southern Australia: the Australian fur seal, New Zealand fur seal and Australian sea lion. It also includes brief descriptions of Antarctic and Subantarctic seals that occupy the Antarctic pack-ice and remote Australian territories of Macquarie Island and Heard Island.

- Short description


2014 Whitley Award Commendation for Natural History

No longer available in a print edition.


"Overall I found this book thoroughly enjoyable; it was easy to read, relevant and engaging. it would compliment any natural history library and I recommend it to anyone with an interest in marine mammals, as well as anyone without - this book will surely pique the interest of even the most indifferent reader"
Nicole Schumann, Victorian Naturalist, Vol 131(2), April 2014, pp 57-58

"This book contains a vast amount of scientific information about fur seals and sea lions, and would be of interest to naturalists, marine biologists and those keen to learn more about Australia’s marine mammals."
P Tucak, Australian Veterinary Journal, Vol 92(10), October 2014

"well worth purchasing if you have even the slightest interest in these charismatic megafauna. Regardless of whether you are a marinescientist or not, Fur Seals and Sea Lions is well worth a read."
Dr Tim Kildea, Australian Marine Sciences Association, September 2014, pp 37-38

"Overall, Fur Seals and Sea Lions should serve not only as a concise reference to the known biology of Australian and New Zealand fur seals and sea lions, but should also serve well as a thorough introduction to the biology of otariids for the interested student."
Caleb D. Phillips, The Journal of Mammalian Evolution, Vol 22, 2015, pp 597


ePDF | June 2013
ISBN: 9780643109834
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Available from eRetailers

ePUB | June 2013
ISBN: 9780643109841
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Available from eRetailers


  • The first comparative account of an Australian marine wildlife icon
  • Summary of the enormous amount of new scientific information from studies in the past 10 years
  • Full descriptions of the species and their biology
  • Photographs and diagrams to facilitate species identification


1 Introduction
2 Evolution and recent history
3 Morphology and physiology: adaptations to marine life
4 Seals in southern Australia
5 Reproductive biology
6 Foraging ecology
7 Population biology
8 Conservation and management


Simon Goldsworthy and Roger Kirkwood are marine biologists with over 25 years' experience, specialising in the ecology of marine mammals and seabirds. Simon Goldsworthy is a Principal Research Scientist with the South Australian Research and Development Institute, while Roger Kirkwood is a Research Scientist at the Phillip Island Nature Parks, Victoria.