New Photos From Crittercam Leopard Seal Project

By Kyler Abernathy, Crittercam Research Director

A new Crittercam project with leopard seals in Antarctica has recently wrapped up.

With NOAA/Antarctic Marine Living Resources Program (AMLR) researcher and Scripps Institution of Oceanography (UCSD) student Doug Krause, we’ve been working at Cape Shirreff, on Livingston Island, off the Antarctic Peninsula.

This NOAA study location is a breeding site for Antarctic fur seals and chinstrap and Gentoo penguins–all potential prey for the apex predator leopard seals. There is a highly unusual and growing concentration of the normally rare and elusive leopard seals at this location, which creates an incredible opportunity to study these seals.

The first year of the project is showing significant potential with some really amazing Crittercam footage. While we process that footage and prepare for future deployments, we hope you’ll enjoy the still photos in the gallery above.

All images and recordings in this blog post were collected pursuant to National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) permit # 16472-01.

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Andrew Howley is a longtime contributor to the National Geographic blog, with a particular focus on archaeology and paleoanthropology generally, and ancient rock art in particular. In 2018 he became Communications Director at Adventure Scientists, founded by Nat Geo Explorer Gregg Treinish. Over 11 years at the National Geographic Society, Andrew worked in various ways to share the stories of NG explorers and grantees online. He also produced the Home Page of nationalgeographic.com for several years, and helped manage the Society's Facebook page during its breakout year of 2010. He studied Anthropology with a focus on Archaeology from the College of William & Mary in Virginia. He has covered expeditions with NG Explorers-in-Residence Mike Fay, Enric Sala, and Lee Berger. His personal interests include painting, running, and reading about history. You can follow him on Twitter @anderhowl and on Instagram @andrewjhowley.