The atlas underscores the need to establish a new network of marine protected areas that would include open-sea environments that are linked to key coastal areas. Many of the species tracked travel vast distances between coastal breeding grounds and feeding areas. For example, satellite data revealed that southern elephant seals travel more than 10,000 kilometers (6,200 miles) during an average season at sea, and an additional 10,000 kilometers in repeated vertical dives for food.
"The Patagonian Sea is a remarkable intersection of global physics, marine biodiversity, and climate and economic change," said Dr. Steven E. Sanderson, President and CEO of the Wildlife Conservation Society. "The Atlas of the Patagonian Sea will advance conservation of this region and can serve as a roadmap for the creation and management of future marine protected areas of which there are precious few worldwide."
The list of species tracked for the atlas includes five species of albatross, three species of petrel, four varieties of penguin, two fur seal species, the South American sea lion, and the southern elephant seal.
The completion of the Atlas of the Patagonian Sea is due in large part to the generosity and long-standing support of the Liz Claiborne and Art Ortenberg Foundation for the WCS "Sea and Sky" initiative. Additionally, WCS's conservation work in this region has been supported by the Mitsubishi Foundation for the Americas and Mr. and Mrs. James M. Large, Jr.
|Contact: Stephen Sautner|
Wildlife Conservation Society