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

Matt on 21 Nov 2021
Love the work you guys do, and thanks in advance for shipping another calendar all the way to the UK! Matt & Carmen
Guest Donor
Guest Donor on 08 Sep 2021
New Zealand Sea Lion Trust

Hi Robyn Thank you so much for your donation to the Trust. Your donation will help us track and tg the pups that will no doubt tart appearing on our shores over the Christmas period once again. Last year we managed to tag 19 pups overall, not quite a record here's hoping we can increase that number this next season. Thanks once again, John Burke, Treasurer

New Zealand Sea Lion Trust
Ben on 28 May 2021
Good work!
New Zealand Sea Lion Trust

Dear Ben Thank you for your fantastic donation. This will help our volunteers who spend their weekends out and about looking out for this years pups and their mums. We have had a lot of activity with pups in the Hoopers Inlet area again this year who have been causing havoc along the road there but thankfully they seem to have moved on for another year. Thanks once again John Burke Treasurer

New Zealand Sea Lion Trust
New Zealand Photography workshops
New Zealand Photography workshops on 14 May 2021
New Zealand Sea Lion Trust

Dear Richard. Thank you for another generous donation. I'm sorry that I didn't realise it was your group when we saw you at Hoopers Inlet recently. The pups seem to have had their fun at the pool for this season and have moved on to pastures new but I'm sure the mums will be back again next season so hopefully we'll see you out there again. Thanks John Burke Treasurer

New Zealand Sea Lion Trust
Guest Donor
Guest Donor on 02 May 2021
New Zealand Sea Lion Trust

Hi Guest Thank you so much for the donation. We are currently busy trying to look after pups and their mothers on the Otago Peninsula where a large group have gathered. Your donation will help us with this work Thanks once again John

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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