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