Wildlife management

Bullers and white-capped albatrosses fight over fish lost from a longline.
Bullers and white-capped albatrosses fight over fish lost from a longline. (Photo: Graham Robertson)

Whales, seals, penguins and seabirds face a number of threats to their long-term viability including:

  • oceanic and environmental changes on the feeding grounds
  • environmental changes at breeding sites
  • habitat degradation
  • direct and indirect interactions with commercial fisheries
  • other human activities causing disturbance or interference.

The effects of past over-exploitation of seals, penguins and whales also has implications for the current conservation status of these groups, as some species appear to show little evidence of recovery. In contrast, some species are recovering at rapid but variable rates and their recovery may have significant effects on the marine and terrestrial ecosystems of the region.

Our research informs conservation and management options for Antarctic wildlife and focuses on the status, population biology and ecology of whales, seals and seabirds and the threats these populations face.

Our research priorities are determined by national initiatives such as the species recovery plan process and bioregional protected area networks. Whale research supports Australia’s role within the Southern Ocean Research Partnership (SORP), which undertakes conservation management research on Southern Ocean whales for the International Whaling Commission.

More information

In the video below, Australian scientists deploy satellite tags on Antarctic minke whales, giving researchers access to more comprehensive information about them than ever before.
[Video]