Polar Biology

, Volume 23, Issue 11, pp 745–752 | Cite as

Diet and estimated food consumption of Antarctic fur seals at Bouvetøya during summer

  • S. P. Kirkman
  • W. Wilson
  • N. T. W. Klages
  • M. N. Bester
  • K. Isaksen
ORIGINAL PAPER

Abstract

Collection and analysis of natural regurgitations and fresh scats, deposited by Antarctic fur seals at the Nyrøysa colony, Bouvetøya, during December 1998 to February 1999, afforded a comprehensive description of the dietary composition of this expanding population during the summer months. Mature, adult Euphausia superba was the staple diet of fur seals at Nyrøysa, while squid and myctophid fish appeared to be taken opportunistically. In metric tons, the total Bouvetøya fur seal population is estimated to have consumed a minimum of 14,365 t krill (representing 1.2713 × 1010 individuals of 1.13 g mass), 186 t fish, 184 t squid and 14,735 t over 3 months, but there are many possible sources of error in these estimates. It is presumed that over-indulgence in krill may cause animals to regurgitate ashore.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. P. Kirkman
    • 1
  • W. Wilson
    • 2
  • N. T. W. Klages
    • 3
  • M. N. Bester
    • 1
  • K. Isaksen
    • 4
  1. 1.Mammal Research Institute, Department of Zoology and Entomology, University of Pretoria, Pretoria 0002, South Africa e-mail: mnbester@zoology.up.ac.za Tel.: +27-12-4202067, Fax: +27-12-3625242ZA
  2. 2.Fitzpatrick Institute of African Ornithology, University of Cape Town, Rondebosch 7701, South AfricaZA
  3. 3.Port Elizabeth Museum at Bayworld, P.O. Box 13147, Humewood 6013, South AfricaZA
  4. 4.Norwegian Polar Institute, Polar Environmental Centre, 9296 Tromsø, NorwayNO

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