Kangaroo Island – New Zealand Fur Seals

“Kangaroo Island. Too good to spoil.” That’s what the Australian Government’s Natural Resources website says. “Keep Kangaroo Island free from introduced pests. Please do not bring bees, potatoes, foxes, rabbits or declared weeds.” It’s tragic that fire has become its greatest threat.

Kangaroo Island is over 4,000 square kilometres of wonderful experiences, with a fabulous coastline and exotic wildlife. Or it was until last week. Now it’s turning to ash, with uncontrolled bushfires and bushfire tornados.

Kangaroo Island has the natural spectacle of Admirals Arch. There are hundreds of stalactites but no stalagmites; underneath the arch is smooth rock. It was a great place to start a walk in Flinders Chase National Park, when I went on an organised tour back in 2011.

Kangaroo Island - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

On the rocks beneath the arch is a breeding colony of New Zealand Fur Seals, Arctocephalus forsteri. I hate calling them fur seals. They’re called that because they were hunted for their fur. It’s the same way I think Right Whales should be renamed to Wrong Whales as their name comes from being the ‘right’ whale to hunt.

Australians don’t like calling them New Zealand Fur Seals, so they often call them Long-Nosed Fur Seals. They were hunted to near extinction between 1800 and 1830. Their population has, thankfully, recovered.

They are resting on the rocks below:

Kangaroo Island - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

There are pups and adults in the colony.

Kangaroo Island - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

They are making use of the smooth rocks and a dry, protected place to have their families.

Kangaroo Island - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

This one is certainly comfortable:

Kangaroo Island - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

The rest of the Island is suffering terribly, with death and destruction of the farm animals and wildlife. You can help.

Two people are dead, homes and hotels destroyed and over 150,000 hectares of land lost in bushfires raging on South Australia’s Kangaroo Island.

Please support the rescue and rehabilitation of Australia’s wildlife here:
https://www.wires.org.au

Thank you.

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