Vagrant seals

Sea Lion Island is often visited by vagrant pinnipeds. It is important to keep an accurate record of those vagrants, because the Falklands are often at the extreme of their normal range.

One of the most common vagrant species is the leopard seal. The leopard seal is a typical antarctic species, and the Falklands are at the very north extreme of their normal distribution range. At Sea Lion Island, we usually get single individuals of both sexes, juveniles to very old adults, and some of them actually die on the island. There is an ongoing study of leopard seal at South Georgia, and, therefore, it is important to collect information on Sea Lion Island vagrants becase they can belong to the South Georgia study.

Juvenile leopard seal

A juvenile leopard seal taking rest on a Sea Lion Island beach


Adult leopard seal carcass

Giant petrels scavenging on a dead male leopard seal


Female leopard seal

An adult female leopard seal resting on the rocks of the Elephant Corner at Sea Lion Island


Leopard seal teeth

The powerful teeth of a leopard seal