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    Population numbers of fur seals at Prince Edward Island, Southern Ocean

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    Document Number:
    WG-EMM-03/18
    Author(s):
    M.N. Bester, P.G. Ryan and B.M. Dyer (South Africa)
    Agenda Item(s)
    Abstract

    During the period 17–22 December 2001, the onshore distribution and the abundance of Antarctic fur seals Arctocephalus gazella and Subantarctic fur seals A. tropicalis were determined for Prince Edward Island (46°38´S, 37°57´E). Two breeding colonies of Antarctic fur seals were located on the south-east coast of the island; the first a mixed (with Subantarctic fur seals) breeding colony with an estimated 24 pups on a vegetated promontory on the northern section of Boggel Beach, and the second, a presumably pure Antarctic fur seal breeding colony with an estimated 380 pups, at Penguin Beach. At a mean intrinsic rate of natural increase of 13.7% per year, Antarctic fur seals appear to be in the rapid recolonization phase of population growth. Breeding colonies of Subantarctic fur seals, largely found on the entire east coast, produced an estimated 15 000 pups, and the population had maintained a mean intrinsic rate of natural increase of some 9.5% per year since 1987/88.

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