The New Zealand sea lion (NZ sea lion), Phocarctos hookeri, is New Zealands’ only endemic pinniped. It is classified as Nationally Critical (Baker et al. 2010) and is estimated to be the world’s rarest sea lion (Geschke & Chilvers 2009). This report summarises the annual survey 2010-11 of the Auckland Island area with the objective to collect data to allow quantification and estimation of demographic parameters of all NZ sea lions from the Auckland Islands.
The pup production estimate for the Auckland Island NZ sea lion population in 2010-11 was 1550 ± 41, a decline on the 2009-10 estimate. 1550 is the second lowest pup production estimate ever recorded for NZ sea lions. Field sightings of previously tagged, branded and/or passive integrated transponder (PIT) tagged animals were collected and recorded. The NZ sea lion database has had the 2010-11 field season’s data entered, checked and data extraction has occurred to allow for the estimation of survival of previously marked NZ sea lions and reproduction by known age female NZ sea lions.