DistributionRead full entry
Range DescriptionThe distribution of Crabeater Seals is tied to seasonal fluctuations of the pack ice. They can be found right up to the coast and ice shelves of Antarctica, as far south as the Bay of Whales (Lindsey 1938), during late summer ice break-up. They occur in greatest numbers in the seasonally shifting pack ice surrounding the Antarctic continent. As vagrants they travel as far north as New Zealand and the southern coasts of Africa, Australia and South America. Crabeater Seals have been known to occasionally wander far inland and die in the dry valleys adjacent to McMurdo Sound. A live animal was found 113 km from open water at an elevation of 920 m asl, and carcasses have been found as high as 1,100 m asl (Kooyman 1981, Rice 1998).