Long-nosed Fur Seal (Kekeno) : March 2021

Drove down to Narooma on the NSW Far South Coast specifically to see the fur seals. Two species haul out on Montague Island : the Australian Fur Seal (Arctocephalus pusillus doriferus) and the Long-nosed Fur Seal (A. forsteri). I had planned to sign up for a boat trip to the island, see the seals and explore the lighthouse, but heavy seas, rain and wind cancelled all outings for the weekend.

Luckily, some fur seals also haul out on the southern breakwater, so I could see and photograph them. These were the Long-nosed Fur Seals, called Kekeno in the Maori language, and originally called New Zealand Fur Seals.

I saw about a dozen, three or four paddling lazily on their backs in the water, and the rest spaced out on the rocks. They are more likely to sunbake on jumbled boulders than rock platforms. When they did decide to move, they hopped forward with their front flippers moving in unison. Tourists oohing and aahing and taking photos didn’t phase them in the least.

I am a beautiful seal

Will defintiely have to come back in better weather to go out to Montague and see the ‘Australian’ version.

Mammal watching total = 33

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