News | Environment
25 Sep 2017 17:32
NZCity News
NZCity CalculatorReturn to NZCity

  • Start Page
  • Personalise
  • Sport
  • Weather
  • Olympic Games
  • Ski Report
  • Finance
  • Shopping
  • Jobs
  • Horoscopes
  • Lotto Results
  • Photo Gallery
  • Site Gallery
  • TVNow
  • Dating
  • SearchNZ
  • NZSearch
  • Crime.co.nz
  • RugbyLeague
  • Make Home
  • About NZCity
  • Contact NZCity
  • Your Privacy
  • Advertising
  • Login
  • Join for Free

  •   Home > News > Environment

    Owha the leopard seal loving NZ waters

    Sightings of leopard seals suggest that what is described as an Antarctic species could be common in the waters around New Zealand, a marine scientist says.


    A leopard seal named Owha has prompted a marine scientist to suggest the species is more common in New Zealand waters than previously thought.

    NIWA cetacean biologist Dr Krista Hupman says evidence shows that Owha has been here for at least five years.

    Dr Hupman, who has also been collating sightings over the past 150 years, says the seals have always been described as an Antarctic species, meaning New Zealand is outside their normal range.

    "But this research shows that this is not the case for all leopard seals, and that these animals may have been here a lot longer and are a lot more common than we know," she said.

    Before joining NIWA in Wellington in April, Dr Hupman was a Department of Conservation marine ranger in Auckland, where she learned of a leopard seal that had been seen near Warkworth.

    The animal, Owha, made its way through the Waitemata Harbour to Westhaven Marina.

    "We kept on monitoring her and monitoring her and she didn't leave," Dr Hupman said.

    "The week I left Auckland, she decided to move up to Tutukaka and then to Whangarei, and she is still there."

    At NIWA, Dr Hupman, together with Dr Ingrid Visser from the Orca Research Trust, began collating sightings of leopard seals back to the 1860s and they have come up with 500.

    She has also been monitoring a seal in Marlborough, while Dr Visser has been monitoring a recent arrival in Whangarei.

    "So what are they doing here?" Dr Hupman asked.

    "There's a theory they just get lost in the ice floes and end up going north instead of south. I don't know if we can justify that anymore with what we're seeing now."


    NZN




    © 2017 NZN, NZCity


     Other Environment News
     25 Sep: Canterbury gale blows over semi-trailer
     24 Sep: Ship blaze at Port of Tauranga is out
     23 Sep: 'Faith can move mountains': The search for survivors after the Mexico earthquake
     23 Sep: Heavy rain on the way for South Island
     22 Sep: Mexico earthquake: Jojutla residents come to terms with destruction, lack of government help
     22 Sep: Donald Trump: A week of 'biblical' proportions in the US
     22 Sep: Mexico earthquake: Rescue workers and volunteers describe harrowing search for survivors
     Top Stories

    RUGBY RUGBY
    Canterbury boss to join Highlanders More...


    BUSINESS BUSINESS
    Morgan is best No.7 in the business: Cronk More...



     Today's News

    Entertainment:
    Audrina Patridge is leaning on her family in the wake of her split from Corey Bohan 17:29

    Business:
    Morgan is best No.7 in the business: Cronk 17:27

    Entertainment:
    Victoria Beckham hasn't "stopped crying" since her son moved to New York City 16:59

    Law and Order:
    Drugs and fake money in burnt body trial 16:57

    Golf:
    Kang lauds Ko ahead of NZ Women's Open 16:57

    Entertainment:
    Jay-Z hopes Chester Bennington's death is a "wake up call" to those who think fame and money can provide happiness 16:29

    Business:
    Reserve Bank expected to hold rate 16:17

    Politics:
    Ardern puts her negotiating team together 16:07

    International:
    Killer whales wow spectators at Lofoten Masters surfing competition in Norway 16:07

    Entertainment:
    Ryan Seacrest has suggested Mariah Carey was to blame for her disastrous New Year's Eve televised performance 15:59


     News Search






    Power Search


    © 2017 New Zealand City Ltd