New Zealand Sea Lion Trust

New Zealand Sea Lion Trust

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.

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.

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Latest donations

New Zealand Photography Workshops
New Zealand Photography Workshops on 04 Jul 2022
New Zealand Sea Lion Trust

Hi Folks Thank you once again from the Trust for yet another fantastic donation. It's really great that you make such regular and generous donations. We have had quite a season trying to keep the pups safe at two locations this autumn and you might have read that two of them were run over this season. We are hoping that with DOC and DCC support we can improve our response to the safety of the pups next season, here's hoping. Thanks once again John (Treasurer).

New Zealand Sea Lion Trust
Fionnaigh on 01 Jul 2022
New Zealand Sea Lion Trust

Thank you so much for your donation to the Trust. We really appreciate people such as yourself who help keep us going. All the best John (Treasurer)

New Zealand Sea Lion Trust
Amanda on 30 Apr 2022
Love these beautiful creatures! Thanks for your hard work. SURF
Guest Donor
Guest Donor on 30 Apr 2022
Guest Donor
Guest Donor on 30 Apr 2022
Lead the way

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Created by, and paying to a verified bank account of, New Zealand Sea Lion Trust (Charity)
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A Registered Charity has legal recognition under the Charities Act 2005.
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Donations of over $5 are eligible for a New Zealand charitable giving tax credit.
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