New Zealand Wildlife 1: New Zealand Fur Seals

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Nature / New Zealand / Photo Log / Photography / Wildlife


June 20, 2018, Doubtful Sound and June 28, 2018, Otago Peninsula, New Zealand. New Zealand fur seals were hunted to near-extinction in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and were injured and killed by the thousands by commercial fisheries well into the twentieth century. In New Zealand, they have been protected by law since 1978.

The show-off above was guarding the mouth of Doubtful Sound in Fiordland National Park.


This mother and child were on the southeastern end of the Otago Peninsula.

(Nikon D500, Nikon 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR. RAW processing in DxO Pro; Editing in Adobe Photoshop.)

The Author

California based fine-art photographer featuring abstract, impressionist, and minimalist seascapes — near and distant — and floral-based images. Fine-art photography can be seen at All original images on this blog are copyright 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 Michael Scandling. All rights reserved. No images on this site may be copied, duplicated, reused, published, or re-purposed in any way without express permission from the copyright owner, Michael Scandling.


      • Unfortunately, I agree with you. However I also think that if the mailbox fills with individual registrations of disagreement, on some level it becomes difficult for the “power that is“ to claim a mandate. At the very least I can look at myself in the mirror and say that I wasn’t silent.


      • “He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.” Martin Luther King

        We all do what we can. That’s how we made all the improvements that are now being torn down. They will rise again…hopefully in our lifetimes.

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  1. Biologists talk about convergent evolution, in which two unrelated entities develop a similar characteristic. Your seal raising its snout into the air immediately reminded me of the way the grackles we have in Austin point their bills up in the same way.

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  2. Lovely photos, Michael! I got the Nikon 200-500 mm last year for the seal season at Blakeny Point, must take it out in summer as well … 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • As I mentioned the weight of that beast is compensated by the quality of the images it provides. Are usually put it on the D500 body which gives an effective focal length of 750 mm. Very early in the blog you’ll find more images made with it. Especially November 22, 2018. I see that you are exploring, as I am doing with your blog.

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  3. ‘Snooty’ as a word denoting pride or arrogance came along in the early 1900s, and the Online Etymology site suggests that it may have been derived from ‘snouty.’ At the time, it suggested looking down one’s nose at others, but in that wonderful first photo, the seal’s raised snout seems the very embodiment of pride without arrogance. I especially enjoyed the position of that one flipper. It adds a little humor to the image, and increases the sense that the creature just might be posing for someone.

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    • Definitely not snooty. Pride without arrogance. Or just the pure joy of being alive. However, I did get the impression of an intentional pose. “Oh look. A tour boat! Time to go to work.” But it can be done joyfully. And it was.

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  4. That fur is/was just irresistible, wasn’t it? I’m glad they’re protected but it took long enough! I think it wasn’t much better up here. I like seeing the texture of the fur….it’s nice compared to the surrounding rocks….same color, different texture. They have beautiful shapes, too. Very nice to see, Michael!

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