About this document
This document constitutes the Australian National Recovery Plan for the Australian Sea Lion (Neophoca cinerea). The plan considers the conservation requirements of the species across its range and identifies the actions to be taken to ensure its long-term viability in nature and the parties that will undertake those actions.
The Australian sea lion was listed as vulnerable under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) in 2005 and is also listed as a threatened species in each state in its range (South Australia and Western Australia).
The Australian sea lion now only breeds in the coastal and offshore waters of South Australia and Western Australia. While the original range for the species is unknown, it was thought to extend into Bass Strait. The breeding colonies in Bass Strait were likely to have been eliminated due to seal harvesting during the late 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries. Unlike other pinnipeds that were harvested during that time, Australian sea lion populations have not recovered across their range and there is evidence in some areas that some small populations are still in decline.