“This unprecedented atlas was essentially written by the wildlife that live in the Patagonian Sea,” said Dr. Campagna, who runs the WCS Sea and Sky initiative. “It helps fill in many gaps of knowledge and should serve as a blueprint for future conservation efforts in this region.”
The atlas underscores the need for a new network of marine protected areas that would include open-sea environments linked to key coastal areas. Many of the species tracked travel vast distances between their breeding grounds and feeding areas. For example, satellite data revealed that southern elephant seals travel more than 6,200 miles during an average season at sea, plus an equal distance in repeated vertical dives for food.
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 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, as well as support from Judith H. Hamilton, James M. Large, Christopher B. Hockett, and Isabella Rossellini. WCS’s conservation work in this region also receives support from the Mitsubishi Foundation for the Americas and Mr. and Mrs. James M. Large, Jr.