Sub-antarctic Population

The Collapse
Renewed Decline
On the Road to Recovery

The Collapse

It is estimated that the Sub-antarctic Islands were once home to more than 68,000 Pakake

(Robertson, 2015)

But when humans arrived everything changed

On the Road to Recovery

Following the end of hunting Pakake numbers slowly increased

1907 reported as "quite numerous" on snares, aucklands and Campbell (C n G 1998 c Waite, 1909, p.542). Estimated 200 on Sandy Bay beach Enderby and reports of pups born, the first since sealing (C n G 1998 c Wilson, 1907, 1966). Noted small number of breeding sea lions at Snares (C n G 1998).

1941 report of plentiful sea lions on Enderby (C n G 1998 c Pollock, 1941). Sea lions found covering Dundas Island (C n G 1998 c Pollock 1941).

1942-1979 estimation of breeding population of 1000 sea lions at Sandy Bay and production of 350-400 pups p.a. (C n G 1998 c Falla 1965, 1975, Falla et al., 1979).

1947 estimated only 20 females and hundreds of males on Campbell Island, though young pups also seen (C n G 1998 c Bailey and Sorensen, 1962). Report of increase in population between 1941 and 1958 but overall described as not abundant (C n G 1998 c Bailey and Sorensen, 1962).

1969-1971 record of two pup births and a count of 47 sea lions on the Snares (C n G 1998 c Crawley and Cameron 1972).

Survey of pup production started 1972 at Sandy Bay (C n G 1998). Survey of pups at Dundas began in 1974 with over 1000 pups counted (C n G 1998). Colony estimated as twice the size of Sandy Bay (C n G 1998 c Best 1974).

1975 reported 78 sea lions and only one female on Campbell Island (C n G 1998 c Russ 1980).

1978 survey at Dundas counted a minimum of 1680 pups (C n G 1998c Falla et al., 1979).

1984/1985 report of around 30 pups on Campbell island and noted this reflected a gradual increase (C n G 1998 c Taylor and Sadleir 1985 p. 4).

1987/1988 report of at least 51 pups on Campbell (C n G 1998 c Moore and Moffat 1990).

1991/1992 98 pups tagged on Campbell Island and 24 dead pups were recorded (C n G 1998).

1992/1993 an estimated 150 pups for Campbell Island (C n G 1998 c Cawthorn 1993). An estimation of 10 pups for snares islands (C n G 1998 c Cawthorne 1993).

Pup production stable in Auckland islands for three decades.

Renewed Decline

Unfortunately only 100 years after the ban of hunting Pakake numbers began to decline again

Decline of 48% on pup production between 1994/95 season and 2013/14 season (Childerhouse et al., 2013)

2015 population estimate (entire range) 11,767 (95% Credibility interval: 10,790– 12,923; Chilvers & Meyer, 2017)

Learn more about pakake
Life in the Sub-antarctic
Work in the Sub-antarctic
Threats in the Sub-antarctic