Although once hunted by humans, southern elephant seals were never near extinction like Mirounga angustirostris. This is largely because most of the breeding grounds of M. leonina were out of reach of hunting boats. Hunting did have some impact, but numbers have recovered since hunting has ceased. Some populations are are experiencing declines. This may be normal population fluctuations, however. ("Elephant Seal", 2002; Anderson, 2003; Crown, 1997; Nowak, 2003; Seal Conservation Society, 2001)
IUCN Red List: Lower Risk - Least Concern
US Federal List: No special status
CITES: Appendix II
- Nowak, R. 2003. Walker's Marine Mammals of the World. Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins University Press.