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    EXPLORE

    Female sea lion asleep on the sand of a path bordered by yellow flowers.
    This endemic New Zealand sea lion species is one of the rarest in the world. Here’s a female sleeping along the path leading to Allans Beach.

    Otago Peninsula, a sanctuary of biodiversity in New Zealand

    Just a few years ago, this female sea lion had the same rights as furniture! Since 2015, positive change has occurred in several countries including New Zealand, France and the province of Quebec. 

    Regardless of Descartes’s theory, animals are no longer mindless machines. Because several laws now attest that these creatures are considered “sensitive beings” with “biological imperatives”. At last! Only a few countries have made this step, but it’s a fundamental and essential progress, considering the quantity of animal and plant species in danger of extinction. Located on the East coast of the South Island, the Otago Peninsula constitutes a sanctuary of biodiversity for many species.

    A female sea lion sleeps in the middle of the sandy path leading to Allans Beach.
    The female sea lion measures almost two metres long and weighs around 150 kg, while the male exceeds three metres in length and weighs some 400 kg.

    At the end of the day, a male sea lion lounges on the sand.
    Camera in hand, I admire this male sea lion rolling over gracefully. Closing his eyes, he rubs his head in the sand, stands up, then looks at me before continuing his games.

    A Yellow-Eyed Penguin walks along a small path surrounded by yellow lupines.
    Unique to New Zealand, the Yellow-eyed Penguin population is declining year after year, and this species of penguin is one of the rarest in the world.

    A little blue penguin.
    The little blue penguin measures just over 25 cm and weighs around one kilo. Nests are underground, but with extensive coastal development, they sometimes nest under houses and boathouses. Some people even build wooden boxes as nests for the world’s smallest penguin.

    Head pointed skywards, a fur seal enjoys the sunshine with its eyes closed.
    Head pointed skywards, a fur seal enjoys the sunshine with its eyes closed.

    The Variable Oystercatcher is an all-black coastal bird with a long, bright orange beak.
    Feeding on shellfish, this coastal bird is a regular sight on New Zealand’s beaches.

    For more details: links to the Department of Conservation

    New Zealand Sea Lion
    Yellow-Eyed Penguin
    Little Blue Penguin
    New Zealand Fur Seal
    Variable Oystercatcher

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