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Southern elephant seals (Mirounga leonina) along the Brazilian coast: review and additional records

  • Jailson Fulgencio de Moura (a1) (a2), Bruna Pagliani S. di Dario (a2), Luciano Moreira Lima (a2) and Salvatore Siciliano (a2)
Abstract

Southern elephant seal (Mirounga leonina) is a huge marine predator that has a widely circumpolar distribution and breeding sites near the subantarctic convergence. Nevertheless, this seal has been found in several locations far from their breeding grounds. In Brazilian waters this species has been occasionally recorded. The aim of this paper is to review the occurrence of this species along the Brazilian coast, adding new records in the territory. From 1954 to 2008 we compiled 46 records of M. leonina distributed in eight Brazilian coastal states. We present eight non-published records which represent 17.4% of all the records for the Brazilian coast. From 32 sexed seals, 81.2% were males and 61.3% of the specimens were immature. Most records occurred during autumn (N = 15) and winter (N = 18) seasons. Unexpectedly, the records did not show a clear pattern of decrease from high to low latitudinal coastal Brazilian states. The nectonic pattern of M. leonina with the lack of physical barriers and currents moving northwards could be the reason for the dispersion of this seal to different areas along South American coast.

Copyright
Corresponding author
Correspondence should be addressed to: J.F. de Moura PPG em Saúde Pública e Meio Ambiente Escola Nacional de Saúde Pública/FIOCRUZ email: jailsonfm@gmail.com
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Marine Biodiversity Records
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