Southern Elephant seal
Southern elephant seals can be larger than their northern cousins, with bulls often weighing 40% more during the breeding season. This is twice the weight of bull walrus, and 6-7 times the weight of Kodiak or Polar bears which are the next heaviest carnivorous mostly terrestrial mammals.
It has a shorter nose than the northern elephant seal, but the range does not overlap, so it should not be possible to confuse the two. Their size varies largely depending on where they are from. They are found in New Zealand, Argentina South Africa (though generally keep to islands off the coast). They are thought to have a population of around 750,000, though there are 3 populations, one in each ocean that dont appear to mix a great deal.
Like the Northern Elephant seal, at the end of the hunting period their population was largely depleated, though in the case of the Southern elephant seal, by less. The population is thought to be largely stable at the current time. There are fears that climate change is making life harder but time will tell.
We’re very keen to help people see these animals in the wild – do get in touch if you work with tourism around this area, or indeed in some form of hospitality – even just living near by, and eager to rent a spare room for those visiting. Click on list your wild place on the home page – you can start advertising what you have available.