The genus Arctocephalus consists of fur seals. Arctocephalus translates to "bear head."

Seal 0906
New Zealand fur seal
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Clade: Pinnipedia
Family: Otariidae
Subfamily: Arctocephalinae
Genus: Arctocephalus
É. Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire & F. Cuvier in F. Cuvier, 1826
Type species
Phoca pusilla
Schreber, 1775

Arctocephalus gazella
Arctocephalus townsendi
Arctocephalus philippii
Arctocephalus galapagoensis
Arctocephalus pusillus
Arctocephalus forsteri
Arctocephalus tropicalis
Arctocephalus australis



The number of species within the genus has been questioned, primarily based on limited molecular data. The issue is complicated because some of the species are able to produce fertile hybrids. A recent review recommended the retention of seven species, deprecating the New Zealand fur seals to a subspecies of the South American fur seal, while also questioning the status of the Guadalupe fur seal.[1] Other recent studies have indicated the genus may be paraphyletic.[2] In that case, all species (except for the Cape fur seal) will have to be split off into a separate genus,[1] for which the name Arctophoca has been suggested.


  1. ^ a b Berta, A.; Churchill, M. (2012). "Pinniped Taxonomy: evidence for species and subspecies". Mammal Review. 42 (3): 207–234. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2907.2011.00193.x.
  2. ^ Yonezawa, T.; et al. (2009). "The monophyletic origin of sea lions and fur seals (Carnivora; Otariidae) in the Southern Hemisphere". Gene. 441 (1–2): 89–99. doi:10.1016/j.gene.2009.01.022. PMID 19254754.
Antarctic fur seal

The Antarctic fur seal, sometimes called the Kerguelen fur seal (Arctocephalus gazella), is one of eight seals in the genus Arctocephalus, and one of nine fur seals in the subfamily Arctocephalinae. As its name suggests, the Antarctic fur seal is distributed in Antarctic waters. Around 95% of the world population breeds at the Island of South Georgia.

Arctocephalus forsteri

Arctocephalus forsteri, the Australasian fur seal, South Australian fur seal, New Zealand fur seal, Antipodean fur seal, or long-nosed fur seal, is a species of fur seal found mainly around southern Australia and New Zealand. The name New Zealand fur seal is used by English speakers in New Zealand; kekeno is used in the Māori language. As of 2014, the common name long-nosed fur seal has been proposed for the population of seals inhabiting Australia.Although the Australian and New Zealand populations show some genetic differences, their morphologies are very similar, and thus they remain classed as a single species. After the arrival of humans in New Zealand, and particularly after the arrival of Europeans in Australia and New Zealand, hunting reduced the population near to extinction.

Armour eelgoby

The armour eelgoby (Amblyotrypauchen arctocephalus) is a species of goby found from the Indian Ocean waters around India to the western Pacific Ocean where it occurs at depths of from 37 to 92 metres (121 to 302 ft). This species is currently the only known member of its genus.

Avoid Bay Islands Conservation Park

The Avoid Bay Islands Conservation Park is a protected area in the Australian state of South Australia occupying three islands located west-southwest of Coffin Bay of Eyre Peninsula. The group, which includes Black Rocks and Sudden Jerk Island (also known as Avoid Island), supports breeding populations of seabirds and marine mammals. Colonies of the endangered Australian Sea-lion (Neophoca cinerea) and protected New Zealand Fur-seal (Arctocephalus forsteri) occur on some of these islands.

The conservation park is classified as an IUCN Category Ia protected area.

Brown fur seal

The brown fur seal (Arctocephalus pusillus), also known as the Cape fur seal, South African fur seal, and Australian fur seal, is a species of fur seal.

Cap Island Conservation Park

Cap Island Conservation Park is located 7.5 km offshore, west of Mount Misery, Eyre Peninsula. The park covers Cap Island's 8ha surface. The island consists of a granite base and a calcarenite mantle; its margins steeply over-hanging and eroded. Typical vegetation is a low Nitre Bush (Nitraria billardierei) shrubland. Cap Island Conservation Park was constituted by statute in 1972 to conserve a sea bird breeding area and Australian Sea-lion (Neophoca cinerea) and New Zealand Fur-seal (Arctocephalus forsteri) haul-out areas.Cap Island also bears the alternative name of Gap Island and historically was also known as Rocky Island.

Eared seal

An eared seal or otariid or otary is any member of the marine mammal family Otariidae, one of three groupings of pinnipeds. They comprise 15 extant species in seven genera (another species became extinct in the 1950s) and are commonly known either as sea lions or fur seals, distinct from true seals (phocids) and the walrus (odobenids). Otariids are adapted to a semiaquatic lifestyle, feeding and migrating in the water, but breeding and resting on land or ice. They reside in subpolar, temperate, and equatorial waters throughout the Pacific and Southern Oceans and the southern Indian and Atlantic Oceans. They are conspicuously absent in the north Atlantic.

The words 'otariid' and 'otary' come from the Greek otarion meaning "little ear", referring to the small but visible external ear flaps (pinnae), which distinguishes them from the phocids.

Fur seal

Fur seals are any of nine species of pinnipeds belonging to the subfamily Arctocephalinae in the family Otariidae. They are much more closely related to sea lions than true seals, and share with them external ears (pinnae), relatively long and muscular foreflippers, and the ability to walk on all fours. They are marked by their dense underfur, which made them a long-time object of commercial hunting. Eight species belong to the genus Arctocephalus and are found primarily in the Southern Hemisphere, while a ninth species also sometimes called fur seal, the northern fur seal (Callorhinus ursinus), belongs to a different genus and inhabits the North Pacific.

Galápagos fur seal

The Galápagos fur seal (Arctocephalus galapagoensis) breeds on the Galápagos Islands in the eastern Pacific, west of mainland Ecuador.

Guadalupe fur seal

The Guadalupe fur seal (Arctocephalus townsendi) is one of six members of the fur seal genus Arctocephalus. Sealers reduced the population to just a few dozen by the late 19th century, but the species had recovered to 10,000 in number by the late 1990s. Many individuals can be found on Mexico's Guadalupe Island.

Isles of St Francis Conservation Park

Isles of St Francis Conservation Park was a protected area in the Australian state of South Australia located on islands within the Isles of St Francis off the west coast of Eyre Peninsula about 562 kilometres (349 mi) north-west of the state capital of Adelaide and about 50 kilometres (31 mi) south-west of the town of Ceduna.The conservation park consisted of land on ten (sic) islands within the Isles of St Francis which form the south-westerly extension of the Nuyts Archipelago.The land first received protected area status as a pair of fauna conservation reserves proclaimed on 16 March 1967 under the Crown Lands Act 1929 in respect to Freeling Island and Smooth Island. Additional fauna conservation reserves were proclaimed on 4 November 1967 in respect to Dog Island, Egg Island, Fenelon Island, Hart Island, Masillon Island, West Island and all of St Francis Island with exception to section 220 which had been acquired by the Australian government. On 27 April 1972, all of the land proclaimed as fauna conservation reserves was reconstituted as the Isles of St Francis Conservation Park under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972. On 19 December 1991, additional land was added to the conservation park to extend protection over land located between high tide and low tide. As of 2010, the conservation park covered an area of 12.36 square kilometres (4.77 sq mi).On 25 August 2011, all of the land within the conservation park was constituted as part of the Nuyts Archipelago Wilderness Protection Area with the result that the conservation park ceased to exist.In 1980, the conservation park was described as follows:

St Francis Island is the site of a reintroduction program for the endangered brush tailed bettong (Bettongia penicillata), which became extinct on the island in the early 1900s. St Francis Island is also one of only two islands in South Australia which has a population of the vulnerable southern brown bandicoot (Isoodon obesulus). This island also supports a population of the carpet snake (Morelia spilota), which is vulnerable in South Australia and in decline throughout its mainland range. Several rare or uncommon bird species breed on the Isles, including Cape Barren goose (Cereopsis novaehollandiae), the second rarest goose species in the world and the banded rail (Rallus philippensis). Significant breeding colonies of Australian sea lion (Neophoca cinerea), one of the rarest marine mammals in the world, occur on Fenelon and West Islands… St Francis granite formation outcrops on eastern St Francis Island and this is a type locality… The Isles also support a large breeding population of short tailed shearwaters (Puffinus tenuirostris). New Zealand fur seals (Arctocephalus forsteri) breed on Fenelon Island...

This group of nine islands lies off the coast of South Australia near Ceduna, beyond the Nuyts Archipelago group of islands. The total area covered by the group is 1,312 ha, the largest islands in the group being St Francis Island (809ha), Masillon Island (202 ha) and Egg, Dog and West Islands (all 60 ha in area). The islands consist of limestone and sand over granite bases. Nuyts Volcanics formation outcrops on western St Francis Island, and St Francis Granite formation outcrops on eastern St Francis Island. Both are considered geological monuments. The vegetation on the larger islands consists mostly of coast saltbush (Atriplex cinerea) shrubland on the low-lying areas, with grassland and scattered low shrubs covering the remainder. Populations of bush rat (Rattus fuscipes) occur on Dog and Masillon Islands. St Francis is also the site of a breeding population of short-tailed shearwaters (Puffinus tenuirostris). Other birds which breed on the Isles include Cape Barren goose (Cereopsis novaehollandiae), banded rail (Rallus philippensis), rock parrot (Neophema petrophila) and little penguin (Eudyptula minor). Significant breeding colonies of Australian sea-lion (Neophoca cinerea) occur on Fenelon and West Islands and New Zealand fur seals (Arctocephalus forsteri) breed on Fenelon Island…

For most of these islands, pastoral leases have been held since the late 1800s. St Francis Island is the most disturbed of the group, a large part of it having been cleared and the whole island grazed by sheep, but the vegetation is now recovering. Introduced plants are common on St Francis Island. The remaining islands are in their natural state.

The conservation park was classified in 2010 as being an IUCN Category Ia protected area. In 1980, it was listed on the now-defunct Register of the National Estate.

Juan Fernández fur seal

The Juan Fernández fur seal is the second smallest of the fur seals, second only to the Galápagos fur seal. They are found only on the Pacific Coast of South America, more specifically on the Juan Fernández Islands and the Desventuradas Islands. There is still much that is unknown about this species. Scientists still do not know the average life span of this species, or the diet and behavior of males apart from the breeding season.

List of carnivorans by population

This is a list of estimated global populations of Carnivora species. This list is not comprehensive, as not all carnivorans have had their numbers quantified.

List of marine mammal species

Marine mammals comprise over 130 living and recently extinct species in three taxonomic orders. The Society for Marine Mammalogy, an international scientific society, maintains a list of valid species and subspecies, most recently updated in October 2015. This list follows the Society's taxonomy regarding and subspecies.

Conservation status codes listed follow the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (v. 2014.3; data current at 19 January 2015) and are clickable to link to IUCN Red List species pages.

South American fur seal

The South American fur seal (Arctocephalus australis) breeds on the coasts of Peru, Chile, the Falkland Islands, Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil. The total population is around 250,000. However, population counts are sparse and outdated.

The population of South American fur seals in 1999 was estimated at 390,000, a drop from a 1987 estimate of 500,000. Although overall species numbers are healthy, the downward trend is causing some concern. Uruguay has the largest numbers of seals along its coast, numbering over 200,000.

Subantarctic fur seal

The subantarctic fur seal (Arctocephalus tropicalis) is found in the southern parts of the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic Oceans. It was first described by Gray in 1872 from a specimen recovered in northern Australia—hence the inappropriate specific name tropicalis.

Whidbey Isles Conservation Park

The Whidbey Isles Conservation Park is a protected area in the Australian state of South Australia which consists of seven islands located west-southwest of Coffin Bay, lower Eyre Peninsula. The group, which includes the Four Hummocks group, Perforated Island, Price Island and Golden Island, supports breeding populations of seabirds and marine mammals. Colonies of the endangered Australian Sea-lion (Neophoca cinerea) and protected New Zealand Fur-seal (Arctocephalus forsteri) occur on some of these islands. The conservation park is classified as an IUCN Category Ia protected area.

Extant Carnivora species

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