Post-reproduction Studies of Female Southern Elephant Seals

Project Description
Numerical models that predict trophic structure require both accurate information on prey consumption rates and estimates of spatial and temporal variation. In the Southern Ocean little information exists on the spatial and temporal patterns of resource use by predators, so we attempted to examine these patterns for an important Antarctic predator, the southern elephant seal. We (i) defined the area of the ocean used by the adult female component of the elephant seal population at Macquarie Island; (ii) quantified the time these seals spent in the different regions of the Southern Ocean; and (iii) estimated the biomass of fish and squid prey consumed per fortnight and per region. 2. We used data from 42 post-breeding females collected from 1992 to 2001.