Thursday, 27 June 2013

A Leopard seal in hout bay

I have seen just the one, so close it was a few paces away, one look at the row of teeth told me this was best left alone! It is now part of a paper on the subject which I had a small part in.


A Trevour Hardaker photo, many thanks for its use.

Quite unlike our local Cape Fur Seals which are a lot darker in colour. The seal was seen on both the ABC marina where it is in this photo but also on the HBYC marina where I saw it too. copy and paste this link to Google.

Dear All

Please find the final version of the Leopard seal paper attached. Thank you for good collaboration regarding this publication.

Best regards

Some of the paper can be read below, its on a PDF, so if you want the full story please contact me.


Occurrence of vagrant

leopard seals, Hydrurga

leptonyx, along the South

African coast
Katja Vinding1,2,3*, Michael Christiansen3,

Greg J. Hofmeyr2,4, Wilfred Chivell1,

Roy McBride5 & Marthán N. Bester2
1Dyer Island Conservation Trust, Kleinbaai, Western Cape,

South Africa
2 Mammal Research Institute, Department of Zoology and

Entomology, University of Pretoria, Private Bag X20,

Hatfield, 0028 South Africa
3Statens Serum Institut, Copenhagen, Denmark

4Port Elizabeth Museum at Bayworld, P.O. Box 13147,

Humewood, 6013 South Africa
5CKD Boats, Hout Bay, South Africa
Received 3 August 2013. Accepted 11 May 2013
Leopard seals inhabit the pack-ice rim of Antarctica,

and they regularly haul out on Antarctic and Subantarctic

islands. Occasionally, vagrants are sighted

further north in South America, Australia, New

Zealand, and very rarely in southern Africa and

Oceania. Here we report on an observation made on

the 15th of July 2010 of a single 3-m-long juvenile

leopard seal at ‘Die Dam’in theWestern Cape, South
Africa (34°45.772S, 19°42.582E). We searched historical

records and found details of four observations

of leopard seals along the coast of South Africa

since 1946. All of these sightings were of juvenile

animals. The relative scarcity of observations is a

likely reflection of the great distance from Antarctica

and the Subantarctic to South Africa.

Key words: leopard seal, distribution, vagrancy.

Leopard seals are distributed along the outer

fringes of the Antarctic pack ice during the austral

spring (Bester et al. 1995; Gilbert & Ericson 1977;

Rogers 2009). They infrequently haul out on

Subantarctic islands such as Marion Island (Bester

et al. 2006), seasonally at Macquarie Island