Saturday 29 November, 2014

Southern elephant seal can travel 18,000 miles

Published On: Wed, Dec 14th, 2011 | Wildlife | By BioNews

Experts have claimed that a Southern elephant seal can travel as far as 18,000 miles, the equivalent of New York to Sydney and back again.

Its amazing feat came to light after the Wildlife Conservation Society tracked a male Southern elephant seal for an astonishing 18,000 miles.

WCS follow the animal – nicknamed Jackson – from December 2010, to November 2011.

Jackson was tagged on the beach in Admiralty Sound in Tierra del Fuego in southern Chile.

WCS conservationists fitted Jackson with a small satellite transmitter that recorded his exact location when he surfaced to breathe.

Jackson swam 1,000 miles north, 400 miles west, and 100 miles south from the original tagging location, meandering through fjords and venturing past the continental shelf as he foraged for fish and squid.

“Jackson’s travels provide a roadmap of how elephant seals use the Patagonian Coast and it’s associated seas,” said Caleb McClennen, WCS Director for Global Marine Programs.

“This information is vital to improving ocean management in the region, helping establish protected areas in the right places, and ensuring fisheries are managed sustainability without harming vulnerable marine species like the southern elephant seal,” McClennen noted.

WCS reported that Jackson has returned to Admiralty Sound, the site of the original tagging.

Each year, elephant seals haul ashore in colonies to molt and find mates.

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