Elephant Seal Sightings, Macquarie Island

Dave Watts, Australian Antarctic Division; Australian Antarctic Data Centre

Dataset credit

OBIS and OBIS Secretariat


Primary contact Dave Watts Australian Antarctic Division; Australian Antarctic Data Centre
Secondary contact Harry Burton Australian Antarctic Division (AAD)
Secondary contact OBIS Secretariat Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO


Burton, H. (1999, updated 2006) Macquarie Island Elephant Seal Populations 1950 to 1965, Australian Antarctic Data Centre - CAASM Metadata (http://data.aad.gov.au/aadc/metadata/)
Watts, D. 2020. Elephant Seal Sightings, Macquarie Island. Data downloaded from OBIS-SEAMAP (http://seamap.env.duke.edu/dataset/103152375) on yyyy-mm-dd and originated from OBIS (https://obis.org/dataset/267a89f6-e30c-4394-8253-5f4630b24a4a)


At Macquarie Island 1000 seals were weighed per annum between 1993-2003 at birth and individually marked with two plastic flipper tags in the inter-digital webbing of their hind flippers. These tagged seals were weighed again at weaning, when length, girth, fat depth, and flipper measurements were made. Three weeks after weaning 2000 seals were permanently and individually marked by hot-iron branding. Recaptures and re-weighing of these known aged individuals were used to calculate growth and age-specific survival of the seals.
Similar data were collected from elephant seals between 1950 and 1965 when seals were individually marked by hot-iron branding. Mark-recapture data from these cohorts were used to assess the demography of the declining population. Length and mass data were also collected for these cohorts and were used, for the first time, to assess the growth of individual seals without killing them.



Supplemental information

This dataset was downloaded from OBIS (https://obis.org/). The records for only marine mammals, seabirds, sea turtles and rays and sharks were extracted. Records with no longitude/latitude or no date (eventDate) were excluded.
OBIS dataset page:
Data Provider's dataset page:


Burton, H. (1999, updated 2006) Macquarie Island Elephant Seal Populations 1950 to 1965, Australian Antarctic Data Centre - CAASM Metadata (http://data.aad.gov.au/aadc/metadata/)



This section explains attributes included in the original dataset. OBIS-SEAMAP restricts the attributes available to the public to date/time, lat/lon and species names/counts only. Should you need other attributes described here, you are encouraged to contact the data provider.

Attributes described below represent those in the original dataset provided by the provider.
All attributes are included in the downloadable file (CSV or ESRI File Geodatabase) for "Complete Set of Dataset".

Attributes in dataset

Attribute (table column)Description
oidInternal ID
idRecord ID
dataset_idDataset ID
scientificnameScientific name
vernacularnameVernacular name
aphiaidAphia ID
taxonranktaxononic rank
individualcountGroup size / individual count
eventdateEvent date (precision varies)
eventtimeEvent time
decimallatitudeLatitude in decimal degrees
decimallongitudeLongitude in decimal degrees
coordinateprecisionCoordinate precision
catalognumberCatalog number
collectioncodeCollection code
occurrencestatusOccurrence status
basisofrecordBasis of record (HumanObservation / MachineObservation)
modifiedDate/time the record was modified
node_idNode ID
occurrenceidOccurrence ID
occurrenceremarksOccurrence remarks
eventidEvent ID
institutioncodeInstitution code
lifestageLife stage
sexGender of the animal if known
speciesSpecies by provider
datasetidDataset ID by provider
localityLocation of ocean
waterbodyDetails of ocean
droppedFlag indicating the record was dropped (always false)
absenceFlag indicating the record represents the absence of the species (always false)
marineFlag indicating the record is for marine life (always true)
Marine mammals221,619
Sea turtles0
Rays and sharks0
Other species0
Non spatial0
Non species0
Date, Begin1952-04-13
Date, End2007-11-06
Temporal prec.111000
Latitude-54.77 - -54.00
Longitude158.00 - 158.94
Coord. prec.6 decimal digits
Data typeAnimal sighting
Traveled (km)0
Contr. throughiOBIS
Sharing policy CC-BY (All)
Shared with None
See metadata in static HTML
See metadata in FGDC XML
See download history / statistics