Marine Mammal Care

Beneath The Surface: Climate Change and Antarctic Fur Seals

Content Image
Crash and Learn?
How Some Unanticipated Effects of Climate Change Are Putting Antarctic Fur Seal Populations at Risk
Thursday, 5/11, 6 pm on Zoom

About Antartic Fur Seals

Antarctic fur seals (Arctocephalus gazella, AFS) are an iconic Antarctic species and an important component of Antarctic ecosystems. Until recently, AFS were considered to be a single, circumpolar population that was both healthy and stable. Further, many experts predicted that the AFS would be a climate change “winner” as the Antarctic Peninsula region warmed in the current millennia. However, substantial geographical, historical, morphological, and genetic analysis presented in recent studies confirms that A. gazella consists of at least four subpopulations; three of which are in decline and one of which is imperiled. We’ll explore what we know about the causes of these declines and what can be done to support the conservation of AFS moving forward.


ABout Dr. Douglas Krause

Dr. Douglas Krause leads the Pinniped Research Program for NOAA’s Antarctic Ecosystem Research Division based in La Jolla, California. This program investigates the ecology and population dynamics of Antarctic seals, particularly Antarctic fur, Weddell, and leopard seals. Over the course of twenty years he has worked with seal populations from Norway to the California Channel Islands. However, the bulk of his work has been focused on understanding how Antarctic fur and ice seal populations are responding to the rapidly warming climate in the Antarctic Peninsula. This research supports the conservation and management of Antarctic marine living resources through the Antarctic Treaty System.