The Falkland Islands and South Atlantic
Antarctic fur seal south georgia

ANTARCTIC FUR SEAL Arctocephalus gazella

  • Antarctic-fur-seal

Also known as the 'Kerguelen' fur seal or 'South Georgia fur seal', the distinguishing feature of these beautiful little fur seals is their short, broad and blunt snout, especially in males. They have long whiskers that extend beyond their ears.
Length: males max 2 m (6.6 ft.), females much smaller at 1.35m (4.5ft). Known also as 'Kerguelen' fur seals. Females and juveniles are various shades of brownish grey with paler bellies. Males are uniformly very dark grey or dark brown. Pups are generally black but a colony generally has a number of fawn/ pale cream individuals. Food: krill, especially round South Georgia, lantern fish and squid. Males will take penguins. These seals were harvested commercially almost to extinction for their fine pelts during the 18th and 19th centuries. Survivors managed to establish a core breeding colony on Bird Island off South Georgia and with the decline and end of sealing they have recovered and today there are around 2 million in the area.

Males live up to 14 years and females 23 years.

Range: Found just south of the Antarctic Convergence. The main concentration of breeding colonies is on South Georgia's northern coast and Bird Island but other important sites are the South Shetland and South Orkney Islands.

  • fur-seal-antarctic



Sources include: Sea Mammals of the World-Randall R. Reeves, Brent S. Steware, Phillip J Clapham, James A Powell,Falkland Islands State of the Environment Report 2008 Otley H, Munro G, Clausen A, Ingham B. Wikipedia, Falklands Conservation, A Field Guide to the Wildlife of The Falkland Islands and South Georgia - Ian J Strange
Photographic credits: Header Ali Marsh, Foto4440/, Emma Brooke, Marlane and Ali Marsh
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