Cape Cross

Cape Cross is mainly a breeding reserve for Cape fur seals (Arctocephalus pusillus) along the Skeleton Coast. The red lichens survive by absorbing moisture from the nightly fogs off of the cold ocean water. Gulls are common along the coast. The inland area is very barren.

kelp gull coastal lichens

When we visited, the seal colony contained mostly females and a few bulls. These are eared seals, like sea lions, and they smell like sea lions. One fur seal was caught in a nylon fishing net. It seemed weird to see black-backed jackals (Canis mesomelas) checking out the pinnipeds, looking for dead pups, afterbirths, and any other edible debris. Someone was studying the jackals, so some of them wore radio-tracking collars.

fur seal colony swimming fur seals nursing fur seal pup fur seal portrait fur seal fur seal fur seal pup fur seal with fishing net black-backed jackal with fur seals black-backed jackal with radio collar

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Last modified 7 November 2015