Arctocephalus forsteri, the New Zealand fur seal, southern fur seal or long-nosed fur seal, is a species of fur seal found around the south coast of Australia, the coast of the South Island of New Zealand, and some of the small islands to the south and east of there.
Male-only colonies are also located on the Cook Strait coast of the North Island near Wellington and vagrants are found as far north as New Caledonia.
The name New Zealand fur seal is used by English speakers in New Zealand (kekeno is used in the Māori language), and southern fur seal by speakers in Australia. As of 2014, the common name long-nosed fur seal has been proposed for exclusive use within Australia. Although the two populations show some genetic differences, their morphologies are very similar, and thus they remain classed as a single species.
Although the seals look docile, they can move surprisingly quickly and it is advisable never to approach a female with young or get between a seal and the water, cutting off its escape route to the sea.
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