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This is a joint project looking at fine scale habitat use of Australian and New Zealand Fur-seals to compare and contrast habitat use with marine park zoning. In this we show that terrestrial haul-out sites and adjoining areas of the marine park were important areas for fur-seals during the winter months. However, most of their activity within the marine park was in habitat protected areas (where some activities including fishing are allowed) rather than in fully protected sanctuary zones of the marine park. During spring seals moved to higher latitudes eventually reaching breeding areas in summer. Seals that used Jervis Bay in winter ranged widely over spring and summer encompassing the extremes of their known range, including southern Tasmania, Kangaroo Island in South Australia and the west coast of New Zealand. This demonstrated the importance of Jervis Bay as a haul-out and winter feeding area and demonstrated that negative impacts on seals in Jervis Bay through disturbance (both at haul-out sites and at sea) have potential to impact widely on several breeding areas.

Project Partners

Taronga: Dr Dave Slip: Marine Science

Collaborators: Macquarie University, Jervis Bay Marine Park, and Phillip Island Nature Reserve