Leucistic Antarctic fur seal Arctocephalus gazella at Marion Island
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A leucistic immature male Antarctic fur seal, Arctocephalus gazella, was sighted at Marion Island in April 2006; the first such sighting in three decades of extensive field presence of biologists at this locality. The same animal returned to the island in July/August 2006, when it was moulting, and was marked with unique flipper tags, after which it was sighted in early October 2006 again. Considering that individuals of this species are capable of moving far from their natal population, we suggest that the animal could likely have come from South Georgia, where this colour morph is relatively common.
KeywordsArctocephalus gazella Leucism Marion Island
The Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism supplied logistic support within the South African National Antarctic Programme. The Department of Science and Technology, through the National Research Foundation (South Africa), provided financial support. Gustavo Daneri and Peter Shaughnessy are thanked for their useful comments as reviewers.
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