Galapagos Fur Seal
The Galápagos Fur Seal, Arctocephalus galapagoensis, is listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™. It is endemic to the Galápagos Islands, where it is widely distributed. The main colonies occur on the western Islands, such as Isla Fernandina and Isla Isabela, and an additional population exisits on Isla Foca in northern Peru which is thought to have relocated due to rising sea temperatures.
During the 19th century, the Galápagos Fur Seal population was drastically reduced by large-scale commercial seal hunting. In the early 20th century, this species was thought to be extinct until it was rediscovered in 1932. The population of feral dogs on the Galápagos Islands is a current threat to this mammal.
The Galápagos Fur Seal is fully protected by the National Park Service under Ecuadorean law. The Galápagos Islands and the surrounding waters are managed as a national park and marine reserve, offering this species further protection. The range of this species has been designated as a Natural World Heritage site, meaning the area will be protected from destruction and degradation. Hunting of this species is now banned and no commercial trade is thought to occur.