Australia: Sea lions are playing a central role in the development of South Australia’s (SA) marine parks. Sea lions fitted with GPS trackers and National Geographic Crittercams are taking scientists on journeys under seas to previously unknown marine ‘hot spots,’ supplying very clear information about areas that provide important habitats for fish stocks and other marine life.
The information will be used by the Department for Environment and Heritage (DEH) to help determine the levels of protection required within the different zones of SA’s new marine parks.
The novel project, led by SARDI scientist Brad Page, is revealing critical information about SA’s sea floor environments, as well as valuable insights into the behaviour and foraging habits of the endangered Australian sea lion. To date, 14 sea lions have been tagged with GPS loggers, including four with Crittercams supplied by National Geographic. “The sea lions are taking us to important habitats that humans cannot easily locate in our vast oceans,” said Page.
Source: Science Alert