16 Jun 2015

Seals here to stay, Aucklanders told

12:01 pm on 16 June 2015

Aucklanders need to learn to live alongside the growing number of seals coming ashore, the Department of Conservation (DoC) says.

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The seal in the Papakura carwash. Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

About six seals have been spotted in the city's suburbs in the past three weeks, with one even going to sleep in a Papakura carwash.

DoCs marine species and threats team science adviser Laura Boren said 100,000 seals were counted around New Zealand 15 years ago, and the number had probably gone up since then.

There were more of them and more of us, so we needed to learn to share space, she said.

Male and juvenile seals sometimes wanted time away from the colony to rest or explore.

"Basically, when they're coming in onshore they're resting up in the off-season when they're not in a breeding colony - they're trying to regain condition so that they can then go back to a breeding colony and be able to hold territory."

DoC needed to be alerted to the mammals only if they were injured or being harassed, Ms Boren said.

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