Skip to main content

Get Your Gift Matched for a Pup in Need

California sea lion pup Mousse was found malnourished, skinny, and with no mother in sight. Orphaned pups like her need your help!

You can be a hero for a pup like Mousse when you get your donation doubled today.

Yes, I want to be a pup’s hero!

California sea lion
New Zealand sea lion

Causes of Death in Two Populations of New Zealand Sea Lions

Adult mortality in two populations of New Zealand sea lions (Phocarctos hookeri)
  • Infectious disease

Abstract

The New Zealand sea lion is an endangered species endemic to New Zealand. While causes of death are well described for pups of this species, mortality in adults is poorly characterised. This study investigated causes of death in 136 New Zealand sea lions in two different populations: a major breeding site on remote, uninhabited Enderby Island in the sub-Antarctic, and a slowly increasing recolonising population on the inhabited mainland. For animals with at least a partial diagnostic investigation (n = 112), the most frequently diagnosed causes of mortality were infectious disease (41/112; 37%), particularly tuberculosis due to M. pinnipedii (20/112; 18%), and conspecific trauma (27/112; 24%). Anthropogenic trauma was an important cause of death in mainland sea lions (9/33; 26%). Deliberate anthropogenic mortality has previously been identified as the greatest potential threat to population recovery for mainland sea lions, and as human and pinniped populations increase, managing interactions between these species will become increasingly important. 


Lenting, B., Gartrell, B., Kokosinska, A., Duignan, P.J., Michael, S., Hunter, S., Roe, W.D. 2019. Causes of adult mortality in two populations of New Zealand sea lions (Phocarctos hookeri). Animal and Veterinary Science 7: 10057. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.vas.2019.100057

infectious disease
Pádraig Duignan

Meet The Experts

Related Publications

Recent News