Local Wildlife - Fur Seals
The Long Nose Fur Seals at Barrenjoey have been coming and going for the past 6 years. With a starting count of four seals, the numbers have grown to a wonderful twenty seals at the end of this season.
The seals migrate around the same time as the whales do. They migrate up from either The Bight, Macquarie Island or Eden/Merimbula but where they go after they leave Barrenjoey is still being researched.
The Colony of Seals seasonally sighted in Pittwater consists of the Bull Seal on the rock with females, juvenile males and also pups.
Although these flipper fun fur friends are cute and playful in the water and are commonly referred as ‘Dogs of the sea’, they should not be messed with. As predators they have natural instincts to bare teeth (defensive) and to bite, even if it’s playful between seal pups.
Most seals need to sleep on the beach/rocks in the day as they are nocturnal animals. Disruption to their sleep because you think they need to be in the water or because you want to play with them and get close can lead them to starvation. Some seals are obviously more dangerous than others. Elephant seals, leopard seals and sea lions are the most dangerous especially during breeding season.
Human physical interactions are highly discouraged as it leads to big impacts. Professional recommendations are to simply not approach wild seals at all.
Respect and understanding of these seals and staying the legal limit distance from them is key for a happy and healthy environment balance. Disruption of habitat or harassing them are one of the main problems they endure. People fishing, crab/lobster pots right where they are and not keeping a safe and legal distance (in and out of the water) poses foreseeable issues for their breading, hunting and survival within our waters.
Our friends at ORRCA have created a great awareness flyer to keep us all aware of our local fur friends floating in our bay.