The Population And Foraging Ecology Of Hydrurga Leptonyx Essay

1860 Words Dec 8th, 2016 8 Pages
Hydrurga leptonyx, also known as leopard seal, are incredible creatures that possess traits of survival and adaptability. Their widespread residency throughout the Antarctic and some parts north of that area combined with their diversified eating habits, places them as a marine mammal with high potential to survive environmental changes. This essay connects an understanding of the population and foraging ecology of Hydrurga leptonyx with their future existence in relation to the threat of climate change. Currently, leopard seals are stated as of least concern in the Red List category, however the daunting effects of climate change may shockingly expedite a shift of additional concern for these species (Hückstädt, 2015).
Leopard seals have a circumpolar distribution with latitudes between 50°S and 80°S (Casaux et al., 2009). Considering they are a widespread species, it is incredibly tough and costly to consistently attempt to research their population number. Leopard seals have an incredible range of movement with vagrants and immature individuals observed in places much farther than the Antarctic north such as Australia, South America, New Zealand, and South Africa. Vagrants consist of Sub Antarctic sightings that have been seen throughout the winter, usually peaking in August or September but are not present from late spring-mid-autumn (Rogers, Hogg, & Irvine, 2005). There have been changes of global estimates for leopard seals throughout the past 50 years, with the…

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