From Wildlife Extra:
Call for action as numbers drop below 10,000
June 2010: Independent conservation organisation Forest & Bird is calling New Zealand’s government to take greater steps to protect the country’s sea lions after the recent announcement that sea lions are in danger of becoming extinct there. New Zealand sea lions now have the Department of Conservation’s highest endangered ranking – ‘nationally critical’.
‘It is astonishing that the Minister of Fisheries has allowed 76 sea lions to be killed in this year’s squid fishing season around the sub-Antarctic islands where sea lions breed. So far 40 sea lions are estimated to have been killed in squid fishing nets, and the season is not yet over,’ Ms Vallance says.
We wouldn’t allow industry to kill kakapo
‘We wouldn’t allow 76 kakapo to be killed by an industry. One sea lion death in a squid net is too many for a species that is heading at breakneck speed towards extinction. In the International Year of Biodiversity, the Government should be making even greater efforts to protect our native creatures.’
DOC raised the threat status of sea lions during its review of marine mammals. There has been a sharp decline in sea lion pups born in recent summers, and the total sea lion population has dropped to an estimated 9,800.
‘Forest & Bird calls on Fisheries Minister Phil Heatley to cut the sea lion kill quota to zero for the next squid fishing season. The sea lion population would stand a better chance of recovering if the marine mammal sanctuary around the Auckland Islands was extended and if a sanctuary around Campbell Island was created. This would exclude trawlers from the main feeding grounds of the sea lions during this critical time each year but allow other fishing,’ Ms Vallance says.
New Zealand sea lions were once found around mainland New Zealand coasts but now breed in a few colonies on sub-Antarctic islands and a few individuals on Otago beaches. They have been classified as a threatened species since 1997. In 1998 the World Conservation Union (IUCN) elevated their threat status by listing them as being in decline.
Watch out for the sea lions when you’re on the Auckland Islands, warns Jim Eagles: here.
October 2010: Salmon farmers, retailers and animal welfare groups are joining forces to bring to a swift end the killing of problem seals at salmon farms: here.
Buller’s albatross: here.
September 2011: Namibian fur seals are slaughtered in their thousands each year, but now a new economic study has confirmed the seals are worth three times as much alive rather than dead: here.
Antarctic fur seals breed where they were born: here.
More than 50 dead New Zealand fur seals washed up on a South Australian beach: here.
March 2011. New Zealand’s Maui’s dolphins finally got protection they so desperately need, with the announcement that fishing restrictions agreed in 2008 have been confirmed: here.
Another of the world’s rarest dolphins killed by a fishing net: here.
April 2011. A new index has been developed to help conservationists better understand how close species are to extinction. The index, developed by a team of Australian researchers from the University of Adelaide and James Cook University, is called SAFE (Species Ability to Forestall Extinction): here.