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Report a Leopard Seal Sighting

Ways to report your sightings

Please report all leopard seal sightings (even if you think someone else already has) as soon as possible. This will enable us to send any nearby researchers to collect more data and alert the appropriate authorities in the area (if required).


Please immediately call 0800 LEOPARD (0800 5367273) 


Report to our Facebook page: “Leopard Seal sightings NZ


Use our Online Sighting Form below.


Email info@LeopardSeals.org


Was the seal last seen within the last 24 hours? We may be able to send a researcher to the seal.

Date: We welcome all sightings old and new, so please make sure we know when the seal was seen, even if you only know the month or year.

Time first and last seen: If you can remember the time you first and last saw the seal please tell us so that we can learn more about the seals behaviour.

Location: Please be as specific as possible about location or provide a GPS location, especially if the seal might still be there (e.g. 100m south of Beach Street Entrance, Sandy Beach, Beachtown). If in a marina, please include where in the marina the seal was seen (e.g. pier G, the marina, marinatown).

Photographs/videos: Please let us know if you were able to photograph or take videos of the seal.

Concerns: If you see anything that concerns you please report it to us ASAP. Things which may be of concern include the seal being in poor condition, the seal being in a busy location or the seal being harassed. See ‘Protecting Leopard Seals’ to learn more about what needs to be reported and where you can make your report.

Collecting sightings information & samples

Please see our  ‘Approaching‘ & ‘Photographing‘ leopard seal pages to ensure your safety and the wellbeing of the seal while collecting data.


Providing photographs of the left and right sides of the head and body, and one of the belly will allow us to identify the individual via its unique pelage (fur) patterns. Belly shots also allow us to determine if the seal you have seen is a male or female. Please send us uncompressed (original) photographs. 


Videos of leopard seals help us to learn more about their behaviour. If the video is sent to us in high enough quality, we can also extract screen shots to identify the seal. Please send us uncompressed (original) videos. 

Scat (Poo)

If you find leopard seal scat (the scientific name for seal poo) please call us ASAP, or even better, collect it for us. Please check our page on how to collect scat and what we can find inside.

Leopardseals.org takes no responsibility for the actions of members of the public approaching leopard seals. It is each person’s responsibility to ensure their own safety and the well-being of the seal.  As a minimum follow these guidelines on approaching leopard seals and always adhere to the Marine Mammals Protection Act 1978 (MMPA).

We ask that you email us all photographs and videos you have of a leopard seal.

Most email providers limit the size of the emails you can send, and this can cause issues when sending us photographs and videos. We use the free website www.wetransfer.com which allows you to send up to 2GB of attachments to our email address (info@LeopardSeals.org). Simply follow these easy steps or check out this video.

  1. Choose free version
  2. Upload photographs and videos from the leopard seal sighting
  3. Enter our email address in email to: info@leopardseals.org
  4. Enter your email address
  5. Enter your name, the date of when you saw the seal and the location where you saw the seal, as the ‘message’.
  6. Click transfer
You will then receive an email when your files have been sent and another email when your files have been downloaded by LeopardSeals.org.

We take your privacy seriously. Any information you submit will be strictly used for the purposes communicating with you and for research and leopard seal advocacy. Leopardseals.org.