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Seal pups seen near old Kaikoura colony

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 25/11/2016
CORRECTION - A young fur seal listens to repair crews clear a landslide on State Highway 1 caused by the November 14, 7.8 earthquake that hit Kaikoura, in Oaro on November 21, 2016. 
Kaikoura coastline was lifted in some places up to four meter causing the seabed to be pushed above the waterline.  / AFP / Marty Melville / The erroneous mention[s] appearing in the metadata of this photo by Marty Melville has been modified in AFP systems in the following manner: [swims out to sea] instead of []. Please immediately remove the erroneous mention[s] from all your online services and delete it (them) from your servers. If you have been authorized by AFP to distribute it (them) to third parties, please ensure that the same actions are carried out by them. Failure to promptly comply with these instructions will entail liability on your part for any continued or post notification usage. Therefore we thank you very much for all your attention and prompt action. We are sorry for the inconvenience © MARTY MELVILLE/AFP/Getty Images CORRECTION - A young fur seal listens to repair crews clear a landslide on State Highway 1 caused by the November 14, 7.8 earthquake that hit Kaikoura, in Oaro on November 21, 2016. Kaikoura coastline was lifted in some places up to four meter causing the seabed to be pushed above the waterline. / AFP / Marty Melville / The erroneous mention[s] appearing in the metadata of this photo by Marty Melville has been modified in AFP systems in the following manner: [swims out to sea] instead of []. Please immediately remove the erroneous mention[s] from all your online services and delete it (them) from your servers. If you have been authorized by AFP to distribute it (them) to third parties, please ensure that the same actions are carried out by them. Failure to promptly comply with these instructions will entail liability on your part for any continued or post notification usage. Therefore we thank you very much for all your attention and prompt action. We are sorry for the inconvenience

Hundreds of newborn seal pups have been seen north of where the Ohau Point seal colony used to be.

A large slip came down on top of the iconic seal colony during November 14's magnitude 7.8 earthquake. The seals were presumed safe at sea but it wasn't known what spot they would gather at.

Department of Conservation ranger Mike Morrissey says there are still a good number of seals nearby.

Hundreds of newborn pups have been seen north of the old colony and many would have been born after the quake.

It's clear that the wildlife in Kaikoura has been affected by the earthquake, he says.

"The only certain thing is that the landscape is changing and will continue to change over the coming weeks and months as aftershocks and landslips continue," he says.

He says assessing the impact on wildlife the region is famous for will take time.

So far from the sea and from the air Hector's dolphins and dusky dolphins have been seen along the Kaikoura coast.

Flocks of Hutton's shearwater seabirds have been seen feeding out at sea. It's estimated that about 10 per cent to 15 per cent of their Kowhai Stream colony in the Kaikoura Ranges has been affected by slips.

Landslides have also affected the Hutton's shearwaters colony in Shearwater Stream but the extent of this is not yet known.

A full assessment of the impact of the earthquakes on wildlife may not take place before the end of the year.

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