Weddell seal observations on female and pup behavior and breeding status for four overwintering periods (2015 to 2018) at Barton Peninsula, King George Island, Antarctica



In animal ecology studies, it is a fundamental monitoring work to observe annual breeding cycle. In this study, we report the detailed observations on seven mother and pup pairs of Weddell seal (Leptonychotes weddellii) at Barton peninsula, King George Island, Antarctica. Two or three pairs had been observed along the coast on the fast ice in 2015, 2017, and 2018 and no breeding was recorded in 2016. Although it varied among individuals, pups were recorded to be born on 19−25 Sept., began swimming at day 18−19 after birth, and molted at day 21−25. Our observations may provide fundamental breeding information of Weddell seals in our study site and contribute to the future long-term monitoring research of seals.

annual breeding cycle, Leptonychotes weddellii, Barton Peninsula, Antarctica

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