Environmental Research Unit, PO Box 434, Stanley, Falkland Islands
LEOPARD SEALSHydrurga leptonyx
Breeding Range: Antarctic pack ice
Length: Males: 3m, Females: 3.5m
Weight: Males: 180kg, Females: 250kg
Falklands Population: non-breeding visitor
World Population: ~100,000 breeding females
Leopard Seals do not breed in the Falklands, but are common visitors to the Falklands, especially during the winter months. They are much slimmer than other seals, but have a strong, powerful head and jaw, used for catching a wide variety of prey, including krill, fish, squid, penguins and young seals. Leopard Seals are solitary animals, which do not breed in large colonies like Falklands seals. Mating takes place in the water during January, and females choose secluded locations on pack ice to pup between September and December. Pups are suckled for one month, after which the females return to the ocean, and the pups must begin searching for their own food.