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Hot spot foraging depths of southern elephant seal males at the Filchner Trough outflow, Southern Weddell Sea

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Bornemann, H. , Schröder, M. , Carlini, A. R. , de Bruyn, P. J. N. , Reisinger, R. R. , McIntyre, T. , Tosh, C. A. , Bester, M. N. , Frickenhaus, S. and Plötz, J. (2010): Hot spot foraging depths of southern elephant seal males at the Filchner Trough outflow, Southern Weddell Sea , SCAR XXXI & Open Science Conference, Buenos Aires, ArgentinaJul.- 06 Aug. 2010. .
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The region around the sill of the Filchner Trough outflow (77°S, 36°W) is considered a hot spot, both in terms of biology and physical oceanography. The factors contributing to this oceanic area of enhanced food availability and its relation to physical processes are not yet understood. Animal-borne satellite telemetry of southern elephant seal males, instrumented at King George Island / Isla 25 de Mayo aims to describe the seals' preferred foraging depths around the Filchner Trough in order to elucidate the vertical distribution of prey in relation to the oceanographic features on-site. Recent deployments (2010) represent a follow-up study of an ARGOS satellite telemetry project on elephant seals in 2000. Adult males travelled deep into the winter pack ice of the Weddell Sea along the western continental shelf break until they reached the region of the sill of the Filchner Trough outflow, where they remained in a localized 100 km wide shelf-slope area for several months. The re-instrumentation aims to investigate if males continue to travel to similar areas. The trilateral, long-term observation study of scientists from South Africa, Argentina and Germany is based on a synoptic approach for Marion Island and King George Island / Isla 25 de Mayo.

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