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Title: Distribution and status of Antarctic seals and penguins along the Princess Astrid Coast, East Antarctica
Authors: Hussain, Syed Ainul
Saxena, Ajai
Keywords: Antarctica
Southern Ocean
Princess Astrid Coast
species composition
population densities
Antarctic Treaty
Issue Date: Dec-2008
Publisher: CSIR
Abstract: This paper presents the status of seals and penguins along the Princess Astrid coast, East Antarctica and relates it to seasonal change in sea ice conditions along the coast. The species composition of seals along the coast was 90.2% Weddell seal Leptonychotes weddellii and 8.3% crabeater seals Lobodon carcinophagus, while 1.5% of the seals could not be identified. In the case of penguins, it was 30% Adelie penguins Pygoscelis adeliae and 70% emperor penguins Aptenodytes forsteri. The overall density of Weddell and crabeater seals was 6.57 +1.27 and 0.48 +0.13 seals/km² respectively, and the Adelie and emperor penguins were 12.28 +4.97 and 29.5 +7.30 penguins/km² respectively. The abundance of Weddell seals was positively associated with the extent of fast ice while the crabeater seals showed positive associations with pack ice. Similarly, the emperor penguins showed positive association with the extent of fast ice and the Adelie penguins for the shelf as during the surveys they were moulting largely on shelf. Three zones with large congregations of seals and penguins viz. Zone I between 10.25-10.65ºE, Zone II 10.90-11.5ºE and Zone III between 11.25-12ºE were identified.
Page(s): 455-461
ISSN: 0379-5136
Source:IJMS Vol.37(4) [December 2008]

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