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Known as Rāpoka in Māori, the New Zealand Sea Lion is endemic to New Zealand and one of the rarest Sea Lions in the world. According to the description I think this is a female Sea Lions. The females are "lighter in colour, predominantly creamy grey with darker pigmentation around their flippers." (Department of Conservation: https://www.doc.govt.nz/nature/native-an... )
This beauty was sleeping on the sand near the sand dunes at Allans Beach.
At first glance she looked like a sand bag! There were two gorgeous Variable Oystercatchers (black phase) cruising around on the sand in close proximity (see spotting: https://www.projectnoah.org/spottings/45... ). It was such a pleasure to be in the presence of this beautiful animal. There is heaps of information on the Department of Conservation website about the New Zealand Sea Lions. According to the New Zealand Threat Classification System the New Zealand Sea Lion is considered Nationally Vulnerable. A great article in the New Zealand Geographic: https://www.nzgeo.com/stories/sea-lions-...