CAPS was officially approved by the SOOS SSC in October 2015. A detailed action plan is in development.
Despite being the greatest consumers of krill in the Southern Ocean, our understanding of the status and trends in pack-ice seal populations and their relationship with key habitat characteristics, such as sea-ice, currently represents a major knowledge gap. Until now, it has been too logistically challenging and expensive to conduct regular pack-ice seal surveys at a spatial scale sufficient for assessing their regional-scale abundance and distribution; as a result, pack-ice seals have been largely neglected, with the notable exception of a large international survey of pack-ice seals conducted between 1999-2001 (APIS I). Remote sensing based methods provide a cost-effective approach to monitoring seals that will enable these otherwise elusive data be made available.
This WG contributes not only to the scientific objectives of Theme 6, but also SOOS Objective 2, by advancing the development of cost-effective monitoring approaches to assess changes in Southern Ocean Systems.
The APIS II working group will aim to fulfil the following terms of reference over four years:
CAPS is a multi-disciplinary team of seal ecologists, remote sensing experts and southern Ocean ecosystem specialists:
Prof Mark Hindell (CAPS Co-Chair; IMAS, AUS)
Dr Peter Fretwell (CAPS Co-Chair; BAS, UK)
Phil Trathan (BAS, UK) Heather Lynch (Stony Brook University, US)
Dan Costa (SOOS, US)
Kit Kovacs (Norwegian Polar Institute, NOR)
Andrew Lowther (Norwegian Polar Institute, NOR)
Andrew Constable (Australian Antarctic Division, AUS)
Colin Southwell (Australian Antarctic Division, AUS)
Bill de la Mare (Australian Antarctic Division, AUS)
Michelle LaRue (University of Minnesota, USA)
Clive McMahon (Integrated Marine Observing System, AUS)