Macquarie Island

Here is my information report on Macquarie island.

Fur Seals of Macquarie Island

Fur seals were native to Macquarie Island but sadly they are now extinct from their natural home because of the hunting by humans for their oil, blabber and their skin and later on the population grew because of the efforts of ARNE base on Macquarie Island. They live in the conditions of Macquarie Island. They prey on the animals of Macquarie Island. The fur seal population consists of three species. I will  now explain further about the Macquarie Island seals.

 

How were Fur Seals eliminated from Macquarie island and brought back again?

In 1810 Macquarie Island was discovered and a decade later all the fur seals had been eliminated from their home for their skin. That was it for their population until in 1948 the ARNE was established and fur seals were breeding there, it was not until the 1980s their population began to increase rapidly.  

 

Physical Shape

Otarid seals also called eared seals because they have obvious stick out ears. They also have large flippers that can be turned to face forward and back ones  that help them to walk or waddle. Having flippers that bend forward allows them to stay in a sit up position. Fur seals have a thick rough coat to protect them from the cold.

 

What did the Fur Seals prey on?

Fur seals eat at night and dive at great depths up to 180m to catch large groups of fish and squid which are usually eaten underwater. The larger fish are usually taken to the surface and eaten there.

 

What conditions did the Fur Seals live in?

Fur seals are used to living in the cold conditions of Macquarie Island with it’s high winds because they have thick fur to keep themselves warm. They usually spend most of their time in the sea hunting with others members from their herd but unlike dolphins they regularly haul-out.  

 

How many species were there?

All together there are eight type of fur seals but currently there are only three species of fur seals living on the Island. Those three are Antarctic-(Arctocephalus gazella), subantarctic- (A. tropicalis) and least commonly the New Zealand fur seals.

 

These fur seals were extinct from Macquarie Island from our ancestors greedy need of oil and seal skin but the ARNAE group brought them back and their population rose to many and we have our original fur seals back on the island. Now  after over 130 years of the cessation of sealing the Parks and Wildlife programs make sure they will be there forever and do pup and seal counts every year.

 

Glossary

  • ARNE: an association that helps the environment and animals
  • Cessation:the fact or process of ending or being brought to an end
  • Haul-out: Hauling-out is the behavior associated with pinnipeds (true seals, sea lions, fur seals and walruses), of temporarily leaving the water between periods of foraging activity for sites on land or ice.
  • Otarid: member of the Otariidae family of eared seals which includes the sea lions  and the fur seals

 

Bibliography

http://www.antarctica.gov.au/living-and-working/stations/macquarie-island/wildlife-seen-on-macquarie-is/fur-seals-on-macquarie-island  11th of October

http://www.afsc.noaa.gov/nmml/education/pinnipeds/northfs.php 11th of October

http://animals.nationalgeographic.com.au/animals/mammals/fur-seal/ 12th of October

http://www.parks.tas.gov.au/?base=4918 12th of October

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