Seal Bay Conservation Park

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Seal Bay Conservation Park
South Australia
IUCN category VI (protected area with sustainable use of natural resources)[1]
Sea lion and pup in Seal Bay - Kangaroo Island.jpg
Australian sea lions on beach at Seal Bay Conservation Park
Seal Bay Conservation Park is located in South Australia
Seal Bay Conservation Park
Seal Bay Conservation Park
Nearest town or cityKingscote
Coordinates35°59′55″S 137°21′45″E / 35.99861°S 137.36250°E / -35.99861; 137.36250Coordinates: 35°59′55″S 137°21′45″E / 35.99861°S 137.36250°E / -35.99861; 137.36250
Established27 April 1967 (1967-04-27)[2]
Area63.67 km2 (24.6 sq mi)[2]
Visitation101,595 (in 2014-15)[3]
Managing authoritiesDepartment for Environment and Water
WebsiteSeal Bay Conservation Park
See alsoProtected areas of South Australia

Seal Bay Conservation Park is a protected area located on the south coast of Kangaroo Island in the Australian state of South Australia. It is the home of the third largest Australian sea lion colony in Australia.[4]

It is one of the most popular tourist destinations on Kangaroo Island.[citation needed] In order to protect the colony, visitors are only allowed on the beach by paying to go on a guided tour.[5]



Seal Bay Conservation Park is located in South Australia on the south coast of Kangaroo Island about 50 kilometres (31 mi) south of the municipal seat of Kingscote.[6] It is located within the gazetted locality of Seal Bay.[7]


The conservation park is part of a group of protected areas extending along the coastline from the east end of Vivonne Bay in the west to the southern end of D'Estrees Bay in the east. It occupies several parcels of land which are bounded to the north in part by the South Coast Road by the West Bay Road and by the coastline in the south. It also includes Nobby Islet.[8][9]

A road named Seal Bay Road provides access to visitor facilities at Bales Beach in the east and overlooking the body of water known as Seal Bay in the west.

Protected area designation[edit]

The conservation park is classified as an IUCN Category VI protected area.[1]


The sea lion population on Kangaroo Island had been exploited for economic purposes since the European colonisation. As sea lions were still being hunted as a source of shark bait post 1945, the Field Naturalists section of the Royal Society of South Australia wrote to the South Australian Museum in 1953 requesting that sea lions be given protection along the southern coast of Kangaroo Island. The request was also supported by both the South Australian Ornithological Association and the fledgling tourism industry on Kangaroo Island. A recommendation was forwarded to the Department of Fisheries and Game for the proclamation of a sanctuary of 10 miles (16 kilometres) in length. A closed area for sea-lions extending from Nobby Islet to Cape Gantheaume was subsequently proclaimed under the Animals and Birds Protection Act 1946 at Seal Beach on 28 October 1954.[10][11][6][12]

Organised tours commenced in 1955 as an initiative of a Kangaroo Island resident. As of 1969, six operators conveyed total of 7525 tourists to the reserve while ‘a large number of people visited the area with private and hire cars’. In 1974, the estimated annual visitation was between 25,000 and 30,000 people while in 1994 it was 70,000 people and as of the year 2014-15, it was 101,595.[3][13][14]

On 27 April 1967, the reserve was re-dedicated as a fauna reserve under the Fauna Conservation Act 1964 along with the inclusion of two prohibited areas intended to protect the breeding area from interference. The reserve was also concurrently dedicated as a fauna conservation reserve under the Crown Lands Act 1929.[15][16]

In 1971, an aquatic reserve in the waters adjoining the Seal Beach foreshore was proclaimed under the Fisheries Act 1971 . In 1972, the reserve was again re-dedicated as the Seal Bay Conservation Park under the newly enacted National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972.[6]

In 1980, the conservation park was listed on the now-defunct Register of the National Estate.[17]

Associated protected areas[edit]

The Seal Bay Conservation Park is associated with three other protected areas which support the objectives of its management plan. These are the Seal Bay Aquatic Reserve, the Bales Beach Aquatic Reserve and the Southern Kangaroo Island Marine Park.[18][19][20]


See also[edit]

Citations and references[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Terrestrial Protected Areas of South Australia (refer 'DETAIL' tab )". CAPAD 2016. Australian Government, Department of the Environment (DoE). 2016. Retrieved 21 February 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Protected Areas Information System - reserve list (as of 15 March 2019)" (PDF). Department of Environment Water and Natural Resources. Retrieved 6 December 2019.
  3. ^ a b DEWNR, 2015, page 43
  4. ^ "Australian sea lions". Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources (DEWNR). 2013. Retrieved 1 April 2013.
  5. ^ "Seal Bay: Visiting the park". Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources (DEWNR). 2013. Retrieved 1 April 2013.
  6. ^ a b c NPWS, 1977, page 13
  7. ^ "Search result for "Seal Bay Conservation Park" (Record no SA0060909) with the following layers selected - "Suburbs and Localities"". Property Location Browser. Government of South Australia. Retrieved 7 June 2016.
  8. ^ DEWNR (map), 2015
  9. ^ DENR, 1993, page 3
  10. ^ "Moves to protect seals". The News (Adelaide, SA). 17 August 1954. p. 12. Retrieved 14 May 2014.
  11. ^ "GOVT. MOVES ON SEAL 'MASSACRE'". The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA). 29 October 1954. p. 1. Retrieved 14 May 2014.
  12. ^ Lyell McEwin, A. (28 October 1954). "ANIMALS AND BIRDS PROTECTION ACT, 1919-1938: PROTECTION OF SEALS" (PDF). The South Australian Government Gazette. Government of South Australia. p. 1076. Retrieved 6 December 2019.
  13. ^ NPWS, 1977, page 14
  14. ^ Robinson et al, 1996, page 93
  15. ^ Shard, A.J. (27 April 1957). "FAUNA CONSERVATION ACT, 1964-1965: HUNDRED OF SEDDON—PROHIBITED AREAS AND FAUNA RESERVE DECLARED" (PDF). The South Australian Government Gazette. Government of South Australia. p. 1452. Retrieved 6 December 2019.
  16. ^ Shard, A.J. (27 April 1957). "CROWN LANDS ACT, 1929-1966: HUNDRED OF SEDDON—FAUNA CONSERVATION RESERVE DEDICATED" (PDF). The South Australian Government Gazette. Government of South Australia. p. 1452. Retrieved 6 December 2019.
  17. ^ "Seal Bay Conservation Park, Seal Bay Rd, Bales Hut via Parndana, SA, Australia - listing on the now-defunct Register of the National Estate (Place ID 7439)". Australian Heritage Database. Department of the Environment. 21 October 1980. Retrieved 6 December 2019.
  18. ^ NPWS, 1977, page 28
  19. ^ Primary Industries and Regions South Australia (PIRSA) (2007), Aquatic Reserves: SEAL BAY - BALES BEACH (PDF), Primary Industries and Regions South Australia, archived from the original (PDF) on 19 September 2015
  20. ^ DEWNR, 2012, page 24

External links[edit]