Nine weeks field work was completed during two trips in January/February and March/April 2003 to investigate the distribution and abundance of New Zealand sea lion Phocarctos hookeri pups at Campbell Island.
A total of 161 pups were tagged and a further 138 dead pups were found. A closed mark-recapture model was used to estimate the total number of live pups (e.g., tagged plus untagged pups) at Campbell Island in April as 247 (SE = 28, 95% CI 198-308).
Pup production at Campbell Island is estimated at 385, which comprises 13% of the total pup production for the species in the 2003 season. This is the first robust estimate of pup production for New Zealand sea lions at Campbell Island. The figure of 385 pups is considerably higher than any of the previous estimates reported from Campbell Island.