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Tracking of marine predators to protect Southern Ocean ecosystems


Hindell, MA and Reisinger, RR and Ropert-Coudert, Y and Huckstadt, LA and Trathan, PN and Bornemann, H and Charrassin, JB and Chown, SL and Costa, DP and Danis, B and Lea, M-A and Thompson, D and Torres, LG and Van de Putte, AP and Alderman, R and Andrews-Goff, V and Arthur, B and Ballard, G and Bengtson, J and Bester, MN and Blix, AS and Boehme, L and Bost, CA and Boveng, P and Cleeland, J and Constantine, R and Corney, S and Crawford, RJM and Dalla Rosa, L and de Bruyn, PJN and Delord, K and Descamps, S and Double, M and Emmerson, L and Fedak, M and Friedlaender, A and Gales, N and Goebel, ME and Goetz, KT and Guinet, C and Goldsworthy, SD and Harcourt, R and Hinke, JT and Jerosch, K and Kato, A and Kerry, KR and Kirkwood, R and Kooyman, GL and Kovacs, KM and Lawton, K and Lowther, AD and Lydersen, C and Lyver, POB and Makhado, AB and Marquez, MEI and McDonald, BI and McMahon, CR and Muelbert, M and Nachtsheim, D and Nicholls, KW and Nordoy, ES and Olmastroni, S and Phillips, RA and Pistorius, P and Plotz, J and Putz, K and Ratcliffe, N and Ryan, PG and Santos, M and Southwell, C and Staniland, I and Takahashi, A and Tarroux, A and Trivelpiece, W and Wakefield, E and Weimerskirch, H and Wienecke, B and Xavier, JC and Wotherspoon, S and Jonsen, ID and Raymond, B, Tracking of marine predators to protect Southern Ocean ecosystems, Nature, 580, (7801) pp. 87-92. ISSN 0028-0836 (2020) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2020 The Authors, under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Limited

DOI: doi:10.1038/s41586-020-2126-y


Southern Ocean ecosystems are under pressure from resource exploitation and climate change. Mitigation requires the identification and protection of Areas of Ecological Significance (AESs), which have so far not been determined at the ocean-basin scale. Here, using assemblage-level tracking of marine predators, we identify AESs for this globally important region and assess current threats and protection levels. Integration of more than 4,000 tracks from 17 bird and mammal species reveals AESs around sub-Antarctic islands in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans and over the Antarctic continental shelf. Fishing pressure is disproportionately concentrated inside AESs, and climate change over the next century is predicted to impose pressure on these areas, particularly around the Antarctic continent. At present, 7.1% of the ocean south of 40S is under formal protection, including 29% of the total AESs. The establishment and regular revision of networks of protection that encompass AESs are needed to provide long-term mitigation of growing pressures on Southern Ocean ecosystems.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Southern Ocean, tracking, management
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Oceanography
Research Field:Biological oceanography
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Management of Antarctic and Southern Ocean environments
Objective Field:Assessment and management of Antarctic and Southern Ocean ecosystems
UTAS Author:Hindell, MA (Professor Mark Hindell)
UTAS Author:Lea, M-A (Professor Mary-Anne Lea)
UTAS Author:Andrews-Goff, V (Ms Virginia Andrews-Goff)
UTAS Author:Arthur, B (Dr Benjamin Arthur)
UTAS Author:Cleeland, J (Dr Jaimie Cleeland)
UTAS Author:Corney, S (Dr Stuart Corney)
UTAS Author:McMahon, CR (Dr Clive McMahon)
UTAS Author:Muelbert, M (Dr Monica Muelbert)
UTAS Author:Wotherspoon, S (Dr Simon Wotherspoon)
UTAS Author:Raymond, B (Dr Ben Raymond)
ID Code:138537
Year Published:2020
Web of Science® Times Cited:117
Deposited By:Ecology and Biodiversity
Deposited On:2020-04-14
Last Modified:2022-08-29

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