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South American Sea Lion (Otaria flavescens).

The map shows the use of the Patagonian Sea by 4 species: the South American Sea Lion (LMS, red), the South American Fur Seal (LPS, yellow), the Southern Elephant Seal (EMS, blue) and the Antarctic Fur Seal (LPA, green).

The Southern Elephant Seal breeds on the Valdes Peninsula and is widely found on the continental shelf, the slope and in the ocean basin. Some individuals reach the waters of South Georgia and the Pacific Ocean. The South American Sea Lion preferably feeds in coastal areas close to its breeding aggregations. Only the males reach the continental slope. Few studies have been made of the feeding ecology of the South American Fur Seal. Individuals of the Antarctic Fur Seal that forage in the Patagonian Sea waters, mainly use the slope and the northern zone of Malvinas Islands.

Data are on adults and juveniles of Southern Elephant Seal, adults of South American Sea Lion, South American Fur Seal and Antarctic Fur Seal, belonging to colonies in Patagonia and South Georgia. All available data are included, without distinguishing between the seasons.

Dataholder: C. Campagna, M. Lewis, M.R. Marín and M. Fedak (Southern Elephant Seal); C. Campagna and R. Wilson (South American Sea Lion); P. Trathan and I. Staniland (Antarctic Fur Seal); D. Thompson (South American Fur Seal).

© JF Thye
© JF Thye Principal feeding areas


Three species of pinnipeds breed and feed on the coasts of the Patagonian Sea: the South American Sea Lion (Otaria flavescens), the South American Fur Seal (Arctocephalus australis) and the Southern Elephant Seal (Mirounga leonina). A fourth species, the Antarctic Fur Seal (Arctocephalus gazella), forages in the area but breeds in South Georgia and other Antarctic islands.

The principal threat to pinnipeds is their interaction with fisheries and competition for food resources. Entanglement and incidental mortality in fishing gears are additional threats.