Leucistic Antarctic fur seal Arctocephalus gazella at Marion Island
- 88 Downloads
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.
- Bester MN, Wilkinson IS (1994) Population ecology of southern elephant seals at Marion Island. In: Le Boeuf BJ, Laws RM (eds) Elephant seals: population ecology, behavior and physiology. University of California Press, Berkeley, pp 85–97Google Scholar
- Bonner WN (1968) The fur seal of South Georgia. Sci Rep Br Antarct Surv 56:1–88Google Scholar
- Budd GM (1972) Breeding of the fur seal at McDonald Islands, and further population growth at Heard Island. Mammalia 36:423–427Google Scholar
- Cardenas JC, Yañez J (1983) Variaciones extremas de color del Lobo Fino Antárctico Arctocephalus gazella (Peters, 1875) en Islas Shetland del Sur, Chile. INACH Ser Cient 30:5–12Google Scholar
- Condy PR (1978) Distribution, abundance, and annual cycle of fur seals (Arctocephalus spp.) on the Prince Edward Islands. S Afr J Wildl Res 8:159–168Google Scholar
- Hofmeyr GJG, Bester MN, Makhado AB, Pistorius PA (2006) Population changes in Subantarctic and Antarctic fur seals at Marion Island. S Afr J Wildl Res 36:55–68Google Scholar
- Kerley GIH (1983) Comparison of seasonal haul-out patterns of fur seals Arctocephalus tropicalis and A. gazella on subantarctic Marion Island. S Afr J Wildl Res 13:71–77Google Scholar
- King JE (1983) Seals of the world. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
- Laws RM (1993) Identification of species. In: Laws RM (ed) Antarctic seals: research methods and techniques. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 1–28Google Scholar
- St. Clair Hill M, Ferguson JWH, Bester MN, Kerley GIH (2001) Preliminary comparision of calls of the hybridising fur seals, Arctocephalus tropicalis and A. gazella. Afr Zool 36:45–53Google Scholar