The Falkland Islands and South Atlantic
South American fur seal on Falklands Beach

SOUTH AMERICAN FUR SEAL Arctocephalus australis

  • FUR seal

The South American Fur seal is a resident breeder on the Falkland Islands, favouring rocky coasts especially with shelving rock slabs. They are stocky little seals with long ears and moderately long pointed snouts, and prominent foreheads. Adult males are uniformly dark brown with yellowish/grey long guard hairs on the neck and shoulders forming a mane. They have ten pairs of teeth in the upper jaw and eight in the lower. Females and juveniles are dark brown/ grey on their upper side and with a lighter underside. Pups are 60-65cm (24-26 inches) when they are born. They have a thick black coat which lightens as they moult.
Length: males max length 1.9m (6.25 ft.), females max length 1.4 m (4.5 ft.),

Fur seals feed mainly on Lobster Krill and squid but they will also take some fish. They are known to breed at five sites on the Falkland Islands.

Found on the coasts of South America, on Tierra del Fuego, the Galapagos Islands, and on the Falkland Islands. The Falklands race A. a. Australis is considered to be a slightly larger sub- species. South American Fur seals were severely harvested for their fine pelts

The Falkland Islands Marine Mammals Ordinance 1992 protects all marine mammals in all waters from the coast to the edge of the economic exclusion zone.



Sources include: Sea Mammals of the World-Randall R. Reeves, Brent S. Steware, Phillip J Clapham, James A Powell,Falkland Islands State of the Environment Report 2008 Otley H, Munro G, Clausen A, Ingham B. Wikipedia, Falklands Conservation, A Field Guide to the Wildlife of The Falkland Islands and South Georgia - Ian J Strange
Photographic credits: Robert Maddocks
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