Antarctic leopard seals flocking to Australia: Biologist

Juvenile leopard seals are increasingly flocking to Australian shores, an expert has found. Sam Thalmann, a marine biologist with 20 years of experience based in Tasmania, said that in a typical year there were three to five leopard seals spotted in the island state, Xinhua news agency reported

“This year we’ve seen more than 10 individuals just over the last three and a half to four months,” Thalmann said on Tuesday.

The seals that have been spotted in Tasmania were usually not yet of breeding size, Thalmann found.

He said that the spike tended to happen once every seven years or so.

“In their young years, as they discover their range, they can disperse a lot further than the adults do,” Thalmann said.

“There is a little bit of a driver potentially due to different sea-ice levels in Antarctica.””The cycle that we see may well be related to environmental cycles within Antarctica, but we don’t think this is anything to be alarmed by.”

Tasmania’s Department of Environment has used the opportunity to study the Antarctic predators and monitor their diets.


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