New rāpoka population confirmed
From reports of sightings of sea lion (rāpoka) pups on Stewart Island, Massey University’s Professor Louise Chilvers began visiting the island annually to make seal pup counts.
Eight years later in 2018 the presence of a New Zealand sea lion (rāpoka) breeding colony on Stewart Island was officially confirmed, the first on the New Zealand mainland in over 150 years.
The least abundant of all sea lion species globally, the rāpoka has been heavily impacted by human activity.
The annual count is a team effort between Massey, the Department of Conservation and Auckland Zoo and will continue to better inform management and mitigation of the threat posed by human activity.
Find out more