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OCEAN > SOUTHERN OCEAN > HEARD AND MCDONALD ISLANDS

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  • The RAN Australian Hydrographic Service conducted hydrographic survey HI290 at Heard Island, February to March 1997. The survey dataset, which includes the Report of Survey, was provided to the Australian Antarctic Data Centre by the Australian Hydrographic Office and is available for download from a Related URL in this metadata record. The survey was lead by LT R.D.Bowden. The spatial extent given in this metadata record is that of Heard Island as the spatial extent of the survey is unknown to the Australian Antarctic Data Centre. The data are not suitable for navigation.

  • Edited version of a video showing three elephant seals interacting with a toothfish longline. Taken from the abstract of the referenced paper: Humans have devised fishing technologies that compete with marine predators for fish resources world-wide. One such fishery for the Patagonian toothfish (Dissostichus eleginoides) has developed interactions with a range of predators, some of which are marine mammals capable of diving to extreme depths for extended periods. A deep-sea camera system deployed within a toothfish fishery operating in the Southern Ocean acquired the first-ever video footage of an extreme-diver, the southern elephant seal (Mirounga leonina), depredating catch from longlines set at depths in excess of 1000m. The interactions recorded were non-lethal, however independent fisheries observer reports confirm elephant seal-longline interactions can be lethal. The seals behaviour of depredating catch at depth during the line soak-period differs to other surface-breathing species and thus presents a unique challenge to mitigate their by-catch. Deployments of deep-sea cameras on exploratory fishing gear prior to licencing and permit approvals would gather valuable information regarding the nature of interactions between deep diving/dwelling marine species and longline fisheries operating at bathypelagic depths. Furthermore, the positive identification by sex and age class of species interacting with commercial fisheries would assist in formulating management plans and mitigation strategies founded on species-specific life-history strategies.

  • This dataset is a spreadsheet with planimetric areas of the seabed within the Heard Island and McDonald Islands Marine Reserve and adjacent Conservation Zone. The areas are provided for one hundred metre depth ranges and are given in square kilometres. The areas were calculated for the Wildlife Conservation and Fisheries research group at the Australian Antarctic Division. Depth data was sourced from a bathymetric grid of the Kerguelen Plateau by R.J.Beaman of James Cook University, Australia and P.E.O'Brien of Geoscience Australia and published by Geoscience Australia. See a Related URL below for a link to the metadata record describing the bathymetric grid. The Marine Reserve and Conservation Zone boundaries were sourced from the Australian Government's Australian Marine Parks Division. See the provided URL for a link to the department's website.

  • Australian Bird and Bat Banding Scheme Bird Banding records from the Australian Antarctic Territory and Heard Island, a subset of banding and recovery records from within Australian Antarctic Territory and Heard Island. The Australian Government under the auspices of the Australian Bird and Bat Banding Scheme (ABBBS) manages the collation of information on threatened and migratory bird and bat species. The information provided spans from 1953 to the present, and contains over 2 million records. This set comprises records of banding and recovery in the Australian Antarctic territory. Records are also included if the bird was recovered or banded outside this region. The ABBBS site is at http://www.environment.gov.au/science/bird-and-bat-banding.

  • This dataset contains presence-absence records of the demersal fish sampled during the 2006, 2010 and 2013 Random Stratified Trawl Surveys surrounding Heard and MacDonald Islands on the Kerguelen Plateau. It also contains spatially matched climatological variables from satellite and modelled data that represent sea floor and sea surface conditions likely to affect the distribution of demersal fish. KP_Fish_Env.csv: contains the data used in the bioregionalisation analyses KP_Fish_Field_Descriptions.xlxs: contains descriptions of field headers in KP_Fish_Env.csv and details about the matched environmental data.

  • A GPS survey of seabirds on Heard Island during the Australian Antarctic Program's 2000/01 expedition. This layer is stored as two datasets (polygon and point) in the Geographical Information System (GIS). Polygon data represent flying bird and penguin colony extents. Point data represent nest locations and the location of the observation point for flying birds and penguins.

  • Public summary for project 2128: The aim of this study is to relate the foraging behaviour of Antarctic fur seals breeding on the Kerguelen Plateau at Iles Kerguelen and Heard Island, to the distribution of prey species at sea. Specifically this project seeks to examine the relationship between predators and prey, and how their locations at sea vary according to the position of major productive zones, such as the Antarctic Polar Frontal Zone. This project will provide important data on the relationship between predators and their prey and the developing commercial fisheries in the region. These data are central to improved conservation and management of marine resources on the Kerguelen Plateau. Variations made to the work plan The original comparative aspects of the program planned for the 1999/00 season, where fur seals from Iles Kerguelen and Heard Island were to be satellite tracked simultaneously could not be undertaken because of original 1999/00 field season to Heard Island was re-scheduled to 2000/01. Fortunately the project collaborator Dr Christophe Guinet (French CEBC-CNRS) agreed to extend the work program at Iles Kerguelen another season, and the comparative and integrated fur seal-prey-fisheries study over the Kerguelen Plateau was undertaken the following season (2000/01). Details of this study are presented in ASAC project 1251 (CI - Goldsworthy)and 1085 (CI-Robertson). Significant findings: The distribution of the foraging activity of Antarctic fur seal females was investigated at Cap Noir (49 degrees 07 S, 70 degrees 45E), Kerguelen Island in February 1998. Eleven females were fitted with a satellite transmitter and Time Depth recorder. The two sets of data were combined to locate spatially the diving activity of the seals. The fish component of the fur seal diet was determined by the occurrence of otolotihs found in 55 scats collected during the study period at the breeding colony. Oceanographic parameters were obtained simultaneously through direct sampling and satellite imagery. The mesopelagic fish community was sampled on 20 stations along four transects where epipelagic trawls were conducted at night at 50 meters of depth. We then investigated, using geographic information systems, the relationship between the spatial distribution of the diving activity of the fur seals and oceanographic factors that included sea surface temperature, surface chlorophyll concentration, prey distribution and bathymetry obtained at the same spatio-temporal scale as the spatial distribution of the diving activity of our study animals. An inverse relationship was found between the main fish species preyed by fur seal and those sampled in trawl nets. However, the diving activity of Antarctic fur seal females was found to be significantly related to oceanographic conditions, fish-prey distribution and to the distance from the colony but these relationships changed with the spatial scale investigated. A probabilistic model of the Kerguelen Plateau was developed that predicted where females should concentrate their foraging activity according to the oceanographic conditions of the year, and the locations of their breeding colonies. Maternal allocation in growth of the pup was measured in Antarctic fur seals (Arctocephalus gazella) at Iles Kerguelen during the 1997 austral summer. Absolute mass gain of pups following a maternal foraging trip was independent of the sex of the pup but was positively related to the foraging trip duration and to maternal length. However, daily mass gain, i.e. the absolute mass gain of the pup divided by the foraging trip duration, decreased with increasing foraging trip duration but increased with maternal length. While fasting, the daily mass loss of the pup was related to the sex of the pup and initial body mass, with both heavier pups and female pups losing more mass per day than lighter pups and male pups. The mass specific rate of mass loss was significantly higher in female pups than in male pups. Over the study period, the mean growth rate was zero with no difference between female and male pups. The growth rate in mass of the pup was positively related to maternal length but not maternal condition, negatively related to the foraging trip duration of the mother and the initial mass of the pup. This indicated that during the study period heavier pups grew more slowly due to their higher rate of daily mass loss during periods of fasting . Interestingly, for a given maternal length, the mean mass of the pup during the study period was higher for male than for female pups, despite the same rate of daily mass gain. Such differences are likely to result from sex differences in the mass specific rate of mass loss. As female pups lose a greater proportion of their mass per day, a zero growth rate i.e. mass gain only compensates for mass loss, is reached at a lower mass in female pups compared to male pups. Our results indicate that there are no differences in maternal allocation according to the sex of the pup but suggest that both sexes follow a different growth strategy. Results are in line with the objectives of the project. animal_id (identifier of the individual animal) location_class (the Argos location class quality, 0-3) latitude (decimal degrees) longitude (decimal degrees) observation_date (the date of observation, in ISO8601 format yyyy-mm-ddTHH:MM:SSZ. This information is also separated into the year, month, day, etc components) observation_date_year (the year of the observation date) observation_date_month (the month of the observation date) observation_date_day (the day of the observation date) observation_date_hour (the hour of the observation date) observation_date_minute (the minute of the observation date) observation_date_time_zone (the time zone of the observation date) deployment_longitude (location that the tracker was deployed, decimal longitude) deployment_latitude (location that the tracker was deployed, decimal latitude) trip (the identifier of the trip made by this animal) at_sea (whether this point was at sea (1) or on land (0)) complete (was this trip complete - i.e. did the animal return to the colony) scientific_name (scientific name of the tracked animal)

  • This database provides the most comprehensive systematic list of mega-epibenthic assemblages in the Australian Economic Exclusive Zone (AEEZ) of Heard Island and McDonalds Islands (HIMI) at water depths between 168 and 970 m. Data were collected to better understand the types and distribution of benthic invertebrates, their vulnerability to bottom fishing, and the effectiveness of the HIMI Marine Protected Area (MPA) for representing and protecting the regions benthic biodiversity. A total 504 taxa from 14 phyla were collected from 129 stations throughout HIMI. Two methods, beam trawl (for non-complex flat terrains) and epibenthic sled (for more complex, rough terrains), were used to sample the megabenthos. Both the trawl and sled were fitted with a 1 cm-2 mesh cod-end with a net opening (height x width) of 2.7 x 1.2 m for the beam trawl and 1.2 x 0.6 m for the epibenthic sled. Samples were sorted into broad taxonomic groups onboard the sampling vessel then frozen for later analysis. In the laboratory, samples were sieved over a 1 cm mesh and all dead material removed. Megabenthos were identified to the lowest possible taxonomic level by using the available literature and assistance of taxonomic specialists. All non-colonial taxa were counted and then weighed. Colonial taxa that could not be counted as individuals, e.g. demosponges and bryozoans, were separated to the lowest taxonomic level and a whole weight recorded per sample. Taxonomic expertise was provided by Dick Williams (Osteichthyes and Chondrichthyes) of the Australian Antarctic Division; Daphne Fautin and Andrea Crowther (Actinaria) of the University of Kansas; Cardin Wallace (Actinaria) from Queensland Museum; Elizabeth Turner (Bivalvia and Gastropoda) and Genefor Walker-Smith (Invertebrates) from the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery; Phillip Bock (Bryozoa), Mark Norman (Cephalopoda), Gary Poore (Crustacea), Joanne Taylor (Decapoda), Mark O'Loughlin (Holothuriodea), Jan Watson (Hydrozoa), Tim O'Hara (Ophiuroidea and Asteroidae), Robin Wilson (Polychaeta) and David Staples (Pycnogonida) of Museum Victoria; Igor Smirnov (Ophuroidea) of the University of Russia; and Andrew Hosie (Cirripedia) of the Western Australian Museum. A reference collection of the taxa is lodged at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Hobart, Tasmania. On 2022-11-02 a minor data update was made to add scanned copies of old worksheets.

  • Ship-based observations of birds, seals and whales from the original 'ANARE Bird Log' books have been recovered into a single repository of sightings and associated abiotic information. ANARE (Australian National Antarctic Research Expeditions) is the historic acronym for these voyages. A few voyages have been included that were not part of ANARE but have Australian observers or volunteer observers. Voyages start from the 1947/48 austral season up to 1982/83 with an average of 3 voyages per season. There are a few voyages where there is no data. It is not known if either no bird observations were undertaken during this period or that the bird logs exist if observations were undertaken. Current counts are birds, seals and whales Observing platforms include the following ships - Wyatt Earp, Tottan, River Fitzroy, Norsel, Kista Dan, Thala Dan, Magga Dan, Nella Dan, Lady Franklin and Nanok S and a single voyage from the private yacht Solo. The quality and quantity of abiotic data associated with observations such as air temperature, sea ice cover etc vary immensely from voyage to voyage. Where possible this data has been entered. This dataset contains very little information on estimates of survey effort and cannot be used to derive useful presence/absence spatial coverages of species during this period. It is purely sighting data only.

  • Metadata record for data from ASAC Project 1251 See the link below for public details on this project. ---- Public Summary from Project ---- The aim of this study is to develop spatial GIS models of fur seal foraging density over the Kerguelen Plateau that will enable a rapid assessment method for identifying areas of high conservation value for Marine Protected Area planning and management. These models will be based on data on fur seal foraging densities in the HIMI region, and oceanographic data on bathymetry, sea-surface temperature and ocean colour (primary productivity). From the abstract of the referenced paper: We investigated the spatial and temporal distribution of foraging effort by lactating Antarctic fur seals Arctocephalus gazella at Heard Island using satellite telemetry and time-depth recorders. Two principal diving types were identified: 'deep' dives averaging 48.6 m, and 'shallow' dives averaging 8.6 m. Discriminant function analyses were used to assign dives based on their depth and duration. Generalised linear mixed-effects models of night dives (greater than 80% of all dives) indicated both spatial and temporal effects on the distribution of deep and shallow dives. Deep dives were more common in the deeper shelf waters of the Kerguelen Plateau, and these dives predominantly occurred after sunset and before sunrise. In contrast, shallow dives were more common in slope waters on the southeastern margin of the Kerguelen Plateau in the hours either side of local midnight. We suggest that these 2 distinct diving types reflect the targeting of channichthyid (deep dives) and myctophid (shallow dives ) fish, and are indicative of spatial and temporal differences in the availability of these 2 important prey groups. We also identified 3 distinct behavioural dive groups (based on multidimensional scaling of 19 diving and foraging trip parameters) that also differed in their spatial distribution and in their relative importance of deep and shallow dives. The present study provides some of the first evidence that diving strategies are not only influenced by where foraging takes place, but also when. The fields in the campaign_41_tracks.csv file are: campaign_id (the campaign identifier: aadc_campaign_41) animal_id (the identifier of the individual animal) scientific_name (scientific name: Arctocephalus gazella) ptt_id (the identifier of the PTT device on the animal. Note that individual PTT devices were deployed multiple times on different animals) deployment_location (the location of deployment: Spit Bay, Heard Island)) deployment_longitude (longitude of deployment location) deployment_latitude (latitude of deployment location) observation_date (the date of observation, in ISO8601 format yyyy-mm-ddTHH:MM:SSZ. This information is also separated into the year, month, day, etc components) observation_date_year (the year of the observation date) observation_date_month (the month of the observation date) observation_date_day (the day of the observation date) observation_date_hour (the hour of the observation date) observation_date_minute (the minute of the observation date) observation_date_second (the second of the observation date) observation_date_time_zone (the time zone of the observation date) latitude (the latitude of the observed position, in decimal degrees) longitude (the longitude of the observed position, in decimal degrees) location_class (the Argos location class of the observed position: one of (in increasing order of accuracy) B,A,0,1,2,3) trip (the trip number of the animal) at_sea (whether the observed position occurred at sea) complete (whether the complete trip was recorded) The fields in the campaign_41_supplementary.csv file are: animal_id (the identifier of the individual animal) behavioural_dive_group (1 = deep; 2 = shallow-active; 3 = shallow) departure_date (date of departure of the animal on the trip) departure_mass (mass of the animal on departure, in kg) standard_length (standard length of the animal, in cm) trip_duration (duration of the trip, in days) dive_rate (dives per hour) night_dive_rate (dives per hour) mean_dive_duration (in seconds) proportion_time_submerged proportion_night_time_submerged proportion_dives_in_bouts mean_number_dives_per_bout proportion_dives_at_night vertical_depth_travelled_per_hr_of_night (in m) proportion_vertical_depth_dived_at_night vertical_depth_travelled_per_day (in m) mean_dive_depth (in m) mean_depth_deep_dives (in m) mean_depth_shallow_dives (in m) proportion_night_shallow_dive_duration maximum_distance (in km) heading (in degrees)