Nic was tracked two years ago
A project of Fur seal, pelagic shark and seabird tracking.
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Species: Australian Sea Lion
Life Stage: Adult
Release Date: 2008-10-09 00:00:00
Release Location: Seal Slide, Kangaroo Island, Australia
Last Location: 2009-06-30 00:00:00
BB & B Bokelman
Catherine & Greg
Henry's satellite tracker is being carried by one of his friends!
This project stemmed from our need for a detailed understanding of Australian sea lion foraging behaviour. As we began to understand more about their foraging behaviour and movements at sea, Australian sea lions started teaching us about how they interact with their environment. In studying the foraging behaviour of these natural explorers, we began to record information about more than sea lion behaviour, depths, and distances. Through this work we rapidly expanded our understanding of the linkages between the ocean and coastal climate dynamics.
Our most recent undertaking is a truly interdisciplinary project, bringing together the interests of biologists studying living systems and oceanographers studying marine physics. The maritime expeditions of the Australian sea lions are now yielding data that are important to both biologists and oceanographers and refining our understanding of the intimate connections between the mechanics of the Earth’s oceans, and the complex ecosystems which dwell within and upon them.
The primary aim of the project is to use Australian sea lions to carry instruments to obtain "CTD" (conductivity - temperature - depth) profiles at high frequency, and in real-time from remote, relatively inaccessible parts of the South Australian continental shelf. We are using custom-built satellite linked CTDs to provide CTD profiles from the Bonney Upwelling. Previous real-time CTD profiles from Australian sea lions have demonstrated that they can be efficiently used as ocean observers.
This is an extremely cost-effective means of adding to existing global oceanographic data archives. It has the potential to complement existing sampling methods, especially for regions from which data are scarce and where these alternative methods may be difficult or prohibitively expensive to implement. Importanly, this approach provides a mechanism of targeting the collection of physical oceanographic data from regions that are biologically of interest (ie. where high trophic level predators feed), therefore providing greater insights into how physical ocean processes underpin marine ecosystems and commercial fisheries.