News and media statements

All Parks and Wildlife Service news items and media statements produced after mid-August 2019 are available on the new departmental website .

Public asked to help protect Australian sea lions

Male Australian sea lion
Male Australian sea lion DPaW

The Department of Parks and Wildlife is urging people to help protect Australian sea lions and interact safely with the threatened marine mammals.

The call comes after the department released CCTV video footage of a man harassing sea lions on Carnac Island Nature Reserve, 10km south-west of Fremantle.

The department is investigating the incident, which took place at 11am on Monday 10 March 2014.

Senior wildlife officer Rick Dawson said adult male and sub-adult male Australian sea lions frequently haul out, or rest, on Carnac Island and should not be disturbed.

“The vision of the man slapping and harassing sea lions is alarming,” Mr Dawson said.

“These are wild animals weighing up to 200kg, with large teeth and if disturbed, they have been known to become aggressive and inflict a nasty bite,” Mr Dawson said.

“Boaters at Carnac Island should observe the signs on marker buoys warning people to keep at least five metres away from sea lions.

“We ask that people appreciate these magnificent creatures from a safe distance and allow sea lions to continue resting on island beaches.”

Australian sea lions are the rarest sea lions in the world and are specially protected under the Wildlife Conservation Act 1950.

Adult male and sub-adult male sea lions spend time in resting areas offshore from Perth to build up their body condition in readiness for the breeding season in Jurien Bay and the Abrolhos Islands off Geraldton.

Members of the public can report harassment of native animals by calling the department’s Wildcare Helpline on 9474 9055.

The penalty for disturbing sea lions is up to $10,000.

Media contact: Parks and Wildlife Media 9219 9999