Neophoca cinerea

Australian sea lion
Neophoca cinerea
Neophoca cinerea, Jurien Bay, WA, Photo: Graham Edgar
Neophoca cinerea
Neophoca cinerea, Rapid Head, SA, Photo: Rick Stuart-Smith
Neophoca cinerea
Neophoca cinerea, Adelaide, SA, Photo: Rick Stuart-Smith
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Neophoca cinerea
Neophoca cinerea
Neophoca cinerea



Males have a solid, dark-brown body with a light-coloured mane of stiff hairs on the head. Females and juveniles have a silvery grey back merging into a light yellow belly. Sea lions, or hair seals, are characterised by a body covering of stout guard hairs, whereas the other group of phocid seals, the fur seals, have a pelt of softer fur hairs located close to the skin in addition to the guard hairs.


Max Size: 230 cm

Sea Temperature Range: 14-22.7°C

Depth: N/A

Habitat Generalization Index: N/A

Also referred to as the SGI (Species Generalisation Index), this describes the habitat niche breadth of the species. Species with values less than 15 are found in a relatively narrow range of reef habitat types (specialists), while those over 25 may be found on most hard substrates within their range (generalists). Learn more here.

Conservation and Rarity

IUCN Status: Endangered

Occurrence: Infrequent (6.4% of sites)

Occurrence describes how often the species is found on surveys within its distribution. It is calculated as the % of reef sites surveyed by RLS divers across all the ecoregions in which the species has been observed

Abundance: Solitary (1 per transect)

Abundance is calculated as the average number of individuals recorded per RLS transect, where present.

Edit by: GJ Edgar. 2008. Australian Marine Life. New Holland, Sydney