Ecuador provides protection by law for southern fur seals.
By the early 1900s it was said to be extinct due to overhunting for fur, but a population was found in 1932-33. The population had increased to between 30,000 and 40,000 by 1989. Ecuador reports that feral dogs on some of the 15 Galapagos Islands are a threat to current seal populations (Nowak, 1999).
US Federal List: no special status
CITES: appendix ii
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: endangered