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Arctocephalus townsendi

Arctocephalus townsendi (NOAA - NMFS)

Cladus: Eukaryota
Supergroup: Opisthokonta
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Cladus: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Classis: Mammalia
Subclassis: Theria
Infraclassis: Placentalia
Ordo: Carnivora
Subordo: Caniformia
Familia: Otariidae
Subfamilia: Arctocephalinae
Genus: Arctocephalus
Species: Arctocephalus townsendi


Arctocephalus townsendi Merriam, 1897

Type locality: "Guadalupe Island, off Lower California. . . collected on the beach on west side of Guadalupe." [Mexico]


* Arctophoca townsendi (Merriam, 1897)
* Arctophoca townsendi Sivertsen, 1954
* Arctocephalus philippii King, 1954


* Merriam, C. H. 1897. A new fur-seal or sea-bear (Arctocephalus townsendi) from Guadalupe Island, off Lower California. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, 11: 175.
* King, J. E. 1954. The otariid seals of the Pacific Coast of America. Bulletin of the British Museum of Natural History Zoology, 2: 326.
* Sivertsen, E. 1954. A survey of the eared seals (family Otariidae) with remarks on the Antarctic seals collected by M/K Norvegia in 1928–1929. Det Norske Videnskaps-Akademi i Oslo. Scientific results of the Norwegian Antarctic Expedition 1927–1928, 36: 42.
* Belcher, R. L., and T. E. Lee, Jr, 2002. Arctocephalus townsendi, Mammalian Species, 700: 1-5.


* Arctocephalus townsendi on Mammal Species of the World.
* Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference, 2 Volume Set edited by Don E. Wilson, DeeAnn M. Reeder
* IUCN link: Arctocephalus townsendi Merriam, 1897 (Near Threatened)
* Arctocephalus townsendi Merriam, 1897 Report on ITIS

Vernacular names
English: Guadalupe Fur Seal, Lower Californian Fur Seal
Polski: Kotik meksykański


The Guadalupe Fur Seal (Arctocephalus townsendi) is a fur seal. It is one of six members of the Arctocephalus genus. Sealers reduced the population to just a few dozen by the late 19th century, but the species had recovered to 10,000 in number by the late 1990s. Many individuals can be found on Mexico's Guadalupe Island.


Guadalupe fur seals are sexually dimorphic in size, with the males being much larger than females, although few specimens have been measured. Individuals of both sexes are dark brown or dusky black, with the guard hairs on the back of the neck being yellowish or light tan. Pups are born with a black coat similar to that of adults. Observations suggest that reproductive males are faithful to particular sites over a number of years. Tenure of territorial males lasts from 35–122 days. Births occur from mid-June through July, with most births taking place in June.The seals are one of the few with visible earflaps, making them not "true seals"


Guadalupe fur seals breed along the eastern coast of Guadalupe Island, approximately 200 km west of Baja California. In addition, individuals have been sighted in the southern California Channel Islands, including two males who established territories on San Nicolas Island.

Impacts on Guadalupe Fur Seals

The major cause of the Guadalupe fur seal's decline was commercial hunting in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The species was exterminated in southern California waters by 1825. Commercial sealing continued in Mexican waters through 1894.

Conservation and Recovery Efforts

The species is listed as endangered by the U.S. government National Marine Fisheries Service under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. The principal cause of the decline in Guadalupe fur seals was commercial sealing. The species is now protected from such activity throughout its range, and the magnitude of the threat to the species is considered to be low. The portion of the Guadalupe fur seal's range which is under U.S. jurisdiction is at the limit of the species range. No activities in areas under U.S. jurisdiction are known to be adversely affecting recovery of this species at the present time. Therefore, management activities in the U.S. portion of its range are not likely to contribute substantially to recovery. However, Guadalupe fur seals are protected from Federal actions that are likely to jeopardize the species through interagency coordination under Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act. No other specific actions necessary for the recovery of the species have been identified, and no direct recovery actions are being implemented.


1. ^ Aurioles, D. & Trillmich, F. (2008). Arctocephalus townsendi. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 29 January 2009.

* Belcher, Rebecca L.; and Thomas E. Lee, Jr. (2002). "Arctocephalus townsendi". Mammalian Species (700):1–5.
* Randall R. Reeves, Brent S. Stewart, Phillip J. Clapham and James A. Powell (2002). National Audubon Society Guide to Marine Mammals of the World. Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. ISBN 0375411410.

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Source: Wikipedia, Wikispecies: All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License