Pinniped Species


Guadalupe Fur Seal

Scientific Name: Arctocephalus townsendi
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Otariidae
Genus: Arctocephalus
Species: townsendi
Other Common Names: Guadalupe Fur Seal
Average Length:

Males – 7ft
Females – 5ft

Average Weight:

Males – 400lbs
Females – 110lbs


The Guadalupe fur seal is the only Arctocephalus species that resides north of the equator. They are a non-migratory species and their population can be found almost entirely on Guadalupe Island, Mexico. There are, however, small populations off Baja California on San Benito Island and off of Southern California on San Miguel Island. 


Guadalupe fur seals are known for their pointed snouts and flat heads. In addition, they have broad front flippers. Their fur is dark brown to black in color, and adult males have tan or yellow hairs on the back of their manes. 

Diet in the Wild:

Squid, mackerel, and lantern fish.


Guadalupe fur seals are found in tropical waters. Little is known of their whereabouts during the non-breeding season, though during the breeding season they can be found on rocky coasts and in coastal caves.


Breeding season typically occurs from June to August. Males will mate with up to 12 females during the season while defending a small territory. Females arrive in early June to give birth then breed a week later. Weaning occurs at nine months.

Conservation Status:

In 1975, Guadalupe Island was declared a pinniped sanctuary by the Mexican government. In 1985, the Guadalupe fur seal was listed as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act.

Threats in the Wild:

Historically in the 1700 and 1800s, Guadalupe fur seals were heavily hunted by commercial sealers. Currently, by-catch data is not available for the Guadalupe fur seal, however there have been documented injuries due to entanglement.

Fun Facts:

In the early 1900s, the Guadalupe fur seal was thought to be extinct.

Resident Animals: none