South African (Cape) Fur Seals (Arctocephalus pusillus)

Fur Seal Facts
Size - the largest of the 9 species of fur seals; average adult body sizes are about 1.5 m, 100 kg (females) and 2.3m, 300 kg (males).
Life span - up to approximately 20 years (males) and approximately 25 years (females).

Distribution - 20+ breeding colonies extend along the west coast of southern Africa, mainly in Namibia.

Diving behaviour - usually shallow divers (~50 m average depth and 2-3 min duration).
Cape Fur Seal
Feeding habits - fur seals eat mainly pelagic schooling prey (anchovies, sardines, horse mackerel and hake) and cephalopods (squid, cuttlefish and octopus).
Breeding behaviour - mature males (10+ years) establish territories in October and maintain harems of about 30 females over a 6 week period.

Pups - born black at 60-80 cm, 6-8 kg in November and December; by 6 months they have moulted into a grey pelage and are usually weaned.
Fur Seal Pup
Conservation status - a healthy, robust population estimated at around 1.5 million sustains an annual commercial hunt in Namibia of 50,000+ pups taken for fur.

Threats - predators include humans, sharks and orcas; additional losses of fur seals occur through poaching, by-catch in fisheries and entanglement in discarded fishing nets and lines, environmental pollution (especially plastics), and changes in distribution and abundance of prey.

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