Macquarie Island southern elephant seal mothers are unable to store sufficient fat reserves to feed their pups because longer sea-ice seasons are preventing them from hunting.
Australian researchers, writing in the proceedings of The Royal Society, say the Antarctic shelf waters are staying longer than usual.
John van den Hoff of the Australian Antarctic Division says elephant seal numbers have been in decline for at least 50 years.
Adult female seals excluded from highly productive Antarctic shelf waters are unable to store sufficient fat reserves to ensure their pups survival.
There’s more in the journal here.
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