Antarctic Weddell seal tagging project- Deployments, Take 2

Daniel Costa, Jennifer Burns, Mary Zavanelli, Michelle Shero and Luis Huckstadt, from McMurdo Station, Antarctica -

 


Field team January 2011 with the last tagged Weddell seal . First row (left to right): Dr. Dan Costa, Dr. Mary Zavanelli. Standing (left to right): Luis Huckstadt, Dr. Jennifer Burns, Michelle Shero . Photo by Dan Costa. 

 

News update from Eastern Antarctica

Luis Huckstadt, Patrick Robinson, Kim Goetz, Jen Maresh in McMurdo Station, Antarctica-

 

If you want to study top predators, you have to follow them. That's it, no way around it (or at least we like to see it that way). So, as the enthusiastic biologists that we are, we were somehow happy about the new challenge in sight: Go to the white continent to study Weddell seals (Part II) right when the "spring season" would be hitting the continent, and the weather was changing from horrible to bad.

More sea lions!

Luis Huckstadt in Santiago, Chile - We are expanding our work with sea lions in the Southern Hemisphere. During the past month of July, we had the opportunity to deploy a new set of satellite tags on sea lions, this time in Chile.

Four down, six more to go!

Luis Huckstadt and Stephen Tavoni at Isla de Lobos, Uruguay-- We have made some progress now with our recaptures, despite the sea lions’ attempts to make our work harder than it already is. So far we’ve recaptured instruments from 4 females, and in doing so we have had a blast figuring out ways to sneak, crawl and surprise these animals before they go into the water!

Recapturing South American Sea Lions

Luis Huckstadt and Stephen Tavoni at Isla de Lobos, Uruguay-- We had a very early start Wednesday, waking up at 5:00 am so that we could be at the port in Punta del Este, Uruguay by 6:00 am to catch the boat that was going to take us to Isla de Lobos.

Southern giants have been tagged!

Luis Huckstadt at Punta Arenas, Chile--We are finally back to civilization after a successful field season at Cape Shirreff, Antarctica. I'm happy to report that we accomplished our goal of deploying 15 satellite tags on southern elephant seals (see Cool Cousins). This work could not have been done without the great crew that helped us at the Cape Shirreff camp.

Update from the Cape!

Luis Huckstadt at Cape Shirreff, Antarctica-- It's been very busy at the Cape these last couple of weeks. The daily routine hasn't changed that much from the previous report, but the workload has not decreased a bit! We continue with our daily flipper tag resights of Antarctic fur seals along the coast of the Cape. We're trying to make sure that we count them accurately, as well as trying to figure out if the moms still have their pups. Fur seals seem to be really good moms, and keep track of their pups really well.

Days At The Cape

Luis Huckstadt at Cape Shirreff, Antarctica--Days at the camp are pretty busy, and it's really interesting. We start our work day early, heading out for Antarctic fur seal tag resights, or searching for flipper tags. These are little tags, on squirmy seals, so it usually takes most of our morning. Besides resighting tags, we count individuals which can be complicated in cold places like the Antarctica!  On chilly days, seals tuck their flippers under their bodies to conserve body heat, making our mission of reading their flipper tags quite the challenge!

Arriving at the Cape

Luis Huckstadt at Cape Shirreff, Antarctica-- I'm finally here at The Cape! It's a stormy Antarctic day, so I thought that I'd take this opportunity to write you a report of my expedition so far!

 

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