Australian Sea Lion
The Australian sea lion (Neophoca cinerea
) has a breeding range which extends from islands off Western Australia to islands east of Kangaroo Island (South Australia). The total population size of this species is estimated to be 10,000 animals. The Australian sea lion once bred in Bass Strait but was eradicated by the sealing industry.
Australian sea lions have been rarely recorded in Tasmania and are difficult to distinguish from other local seal species if you're not an experienced observer.
The Australian sea lion is known to feed on a wide variety of prey, including fish, cephalopods, sharks, rock lobsters and sea birds. Tracking studies of this species indicates that breeding females are 'benthic' or bottom feeders on the continental shelf 20-30 kms offshore, and dive to depths less than 150 metres.