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    The diet of the Antarctic fur seal Arctocephalus gazella at Harmony Point, Nelson Island, South Shetland Islands

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    Document Number:
    WG-EMM-97/60
    Author(s):
    Carlini, A., Baroni, A., Casaux, R.
    Agenda Item(s)
    Abstract

    The diet of juvenile and non-breeding male Antarctic fur seals Arctocephalus gazella was investigated at Harmony Point, Nelson Island, South Shetland Islands, by the analysis of 18 and 33 scats collected during the 1995/96 and 1996/97 summer seasons respectively. Overall, fish were the most frequent prey (74,5%) and predominated by mass (54,4%), whereas krill did by number (94.2%). This pattern coincides well with the observed in 1996/97, but in 1995/96 krill was the most important prey also by mass (50.2%). The importance of the remaining taxa represented in the samples (octopods, hyperiids and bivalves) was negligible. Among fish, Myctophiids represented 85 .2% of the fish mass, being Gymnoscopelus nicholsi and Electrona antarctica the main prey. These two species also predominated in 1996/97, whereas Cryodraco antarcticus and Gobionotothen gibberifrons did in 1995/96. The importance of the Myctophiids as prey of the Antarctic fur seal is discussed.

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