Satellite tracking of female southern elephant seals of Sea Lion Island, Falkland Islands (2009-2011)

The dataseries includes 24 satellite tags (SPOT-5, Argos position only, no dive data) deployed on post-breeding female southern elephant seals (Mirounga leonina) at Sea Lion Island (Falkland Islands), to track the seals' movements at sea. This is the first study of the aquatic phase of elephant seal life cycle that has been carried out in the Falklands. Elephant seals are an important component of the Falklands biodiversity, may represent a conduit for gene flow among the main populations of the South Georgia stock, and are an important resource for wildlife-oriented tourism in the islands. Contrary to expectations, we found that most females forage rather close to their breeding site and the Falklands coastline, in concentrated areas, and over rather shallow water. Just few of them show the very long loops that are rather typical of female foraging in other populations (e.g., South Georgia and the Valdes Peninsula). These findings have clear practical and management implications, including a greater responsibility of Falklands authorities and a greater expsosure to human disturbance and threats. There is an urgent needing to carry out a study of the movements at sea during the post-moulting phase. Further information is available on the research group website,

Data and Resources

This dataset has no data

Additional Info

Field Value
Last Updated December 14, 2020, 09:52 (PST)
Created January 30, 2020, 05:20 (PST)
Region Falkland Islands
Language eng
Topic Category Biota; flora and/or fauna in natural environment
Temporal Extent Start 2009-01-01
Temporal Extent End 2011-12-31
Dataset Reference Date 2011
Lineage All deployments were carried out at SLI on breeding females aged 4-12 that were close to weaning of the pup and return to sea. SPOT5 tag was chosen because it is a simple (location only) and relatively cheap tag of proven reliability that has been frequently deployed on elephant seals. Although precision of Argos positioning is low, it was considered adequate for a study of foraging area. Females were chemically sedated using a standard protocol (Zoletil, initial intramuscular injection, top up on the extradural vein if required), and were carefully monitored after deployment. All of them successfully weaned the pup and returned to sea, although one of them was likely predated by killer whales upon departure. All females returned to the Falklands for the moult, and all tags operated for the full deployment, so we have a final data set of 23 full tracks. More details on the project and protocols are available online at The Argos data files have been processed using a set of custom scripts to exclude low quality and erroneous positions, and were analyzed using QGIS and STATA. Processed data are available upon request to the data owner, and a detailed report is available from the following link:
West Longitude -97.19
South Latitude -49.22
East Longitude -58.87
North Latitude -52.31
Spatial Reference System WGS84
Responsible Organisation Name Hidden (personal data protection)
Contact Mail Address Hidden (personal data protection)
Responsible Party Role Hidden (personal data protection)
Access Limitations Restricted, send data request to data owner
Use Constraints Restricted, but open subject to limitations and prior agreement with responsible organisation. Copyright must be cited
Resource Reference Copyright ESRG 1995-present - All Rights Reserved. Please contact ESRG before citing unpublished reports.
Data Format shape
Update Frequency not planned
Accuracy In the order of kilometres
Resource Type Dataseries
Original Title Hidden (internal use only)
Metadata Date 2019-04-03
Metadata Point of Contact
Contact Consent Contact details hidden
Unique Resource ID FK-ESRG-178

Dataset extent

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