NOAA tracks winter journeys of seals and penguins in Antarctica

May 11, 2010

Scientists from NOAA's Southwest Fisheries Science Center placed 61 satellite tags on fur seals, leopard seals, Weddell seals, chinstrap penguins and gentoo penguins that will allow researchers and the public to track the movements of these animals over the austral winter, which takes place during our summer.

"We typically observe these animals during the austral summer, but have little information of where they go during the winter when and ice make it impossible for us to visually monitor them," said George Watters, Director of the Antarctic Ecosystem Research Division at the Southwest Fisheries Science Center. "We are very pleased the public can watch along with us as we follow these animals' journeys."

The animals' progress will be mapped weekly at: http://swfsc.noaa.gov/AntarcticPredators/ as part of the Antarctic Marine Living Resources research program designed to support of U.S. Antarctic policy and fisheries management around Antarctica.

Each year, NOAA's Antarctic Ecosystem Research Division (AERD) monitors the Antarctic ecosystem including its predators during the months of October through March, which is summertime in the southern latitudes. This year researchers stayed at Cape Sheriff on Livingston Island, where the satellite tagging was conducted, and at Copacabana on King George Island; a ship-based research survey was also conducted in the region.

Websites with photographs of the research camps, the types of animals tagged and the link to see their movements can be found at the end of this release.

The AERD has conducted ecosystem-based research since the 1980s in support of the international Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources. The convention was signed in 1982, after many Antarctic populations were decimated by unmanaged exploitation.

Explore further: 3Qs: Game theory and global climate talks

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Antarctic life hung by a thread during ice ages

Feb 15, 2008

Frozen in time... frozen in place... frozen solid... All of these phrases have been used to describe Antarctica, and yet they all belie the truth about this southerly point on the globe. Although the area is covered in ...

Recommended for you

3Qs: Game theory and global climate talks

Nov 21, 2014

Last week, China and the United States announced an ambitious climate agreement aimed at reducing carbon emissions in both countries, a pledge that marks the first time that China has agreed to stop its growing emissions. ...

From hurricanes to drought, LatAm's volatile climate

Nov 21, 2014

Sixteen years ago, Teodoro Acuna Zavala lost nearly everything when Hurricane Mitch ravaged his fields, pouring 10 days of torrential rains on Central America and killing more than 9,000 people.

Nicaragua: Studies say canal impact to be minimal

Nov 20, 2014

Officials said Thursday that studies have determined a $40 billion inter-oceanic canal across Nicaragua will have minimal impact on the environment and society, and construction is to begin next month.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.