New Zealand Sea Lion Trust

Organisation page created in the Animals category

The New Zealand Sea Lion Trust is a volunteer group based in Dunedin who are dedicated to saving this critically endangered marine mammal.

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  Otago Awareness Wildlife Endangered

New Zealand Sea Lion Trust was formed in 2003 to support on-going research on the small but growing population of New Zealand’s only endemic pinniped seal.

NZ Sea Lions are endangered and a ‘nationally critical’ species, the highest threat category in New Zealand – this is the same classification as the kākāpō. Their main threats are competition for food, accidental drowning in trawl fisheries, disease and human disturbance. Despite being fully protected under the Wildlife Act and Marine Mammal Protection Act, NZ sea lions are sometimes harassed and killed deliberately, with several such incidents in Otago and Southland in recent years.

The return of the species to mainland beaches provides an ideal opportunity to study a re-colonising population and educate the public about this most charismatic of New Zealand species.

The bulk of our work focuses on population monitoring, education, public awareness and assisting management and research of this recolonising population.

Our research and monitoring efforts are therefore focused on the Otago and Catlins Coast at this stage.

More about us

To promote the protection and conservation of the endangered New Zealand Sea Lion through research and public education.


The NZ Sea Lion Trust was formed in 2003 after breeding female NZ Sea Lions returned to the Otago coastline. The NZ Sea Lion Trust and The Department of Conservation (DOC) work closely together to conserve the NZ Sea Lions by monitoring females and pups, running community activities, delivering education programmes and supporting scientific research.


Use of funds

Funds raised will be used to buy essential equipment, such as scanners, for the use of our volunteers in monitoring the movements of the individual sea lions.

Latest donations

Guest Donor
Guest Donor on 20 Oct 2020
New Zealand Sea Lion Trust

Hi Willie and to all at Otatara I'd just like to say a big thank you to you and the pupils of Otatara school for your kind donation through our Givealittle page. Many of our sea lion females are looking pregnant at this time of the year and we are looking forward to a successful breeding season as we start to see new pups around our coastline from late December. I'm sure Amanda and Sian will be back to tell you all how things are progressing next year. Thank you once again John Burke Treasurer NZ Sea Lion Trust

New Zealand Sea Lion Trust
Guest Donor
Guest Donor on 16 Feb 2020
So sorry for the loss of Mum and pup. Heartbreaking.
Tracey on 16 Jan 2020
Matthew on 07 Nov 2019
For the amazing looking calendar & shipping to the UK, as well as a donation for all the good work. All the best, Matt
New Zealand Sea Lion Trust

Thank you Matt, great to have support in the UK.

New Zealand Sea Lion Trust
Guest Donor
Guest Donor on 28 Oct 2019
New Zealand Sea Lion Trust

Hello and thank you so much for donating to the work of the New Zealand Sea Lion Trust. Your donation will help us as we search for pregnant females and their pups during the approach the New Year. There are less than 25 breeding females along the mainland as far as we know so they can take a while to find them all as they are stretched out along the Otago, Catlins and Southland coasts so your donation will be used to help us get volunteers out into the field. Thank You once again John Burke Treasurer

New Zealand Sea Lion Trust

Who's involved?

New Zealand Sea Lion Trust's avatar
Created by, and paying to a verified bank account of, New Zealand Sea Lion Trust (Charity)

Registered Charity A Registered Charity has legal recognition under the Charities Act 2005.
Tax credit Donations of over $5 are eligible for a New Zealand charitable giving tax credit.
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