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Conservation Research Institute


Antarctic Seal Photographic Database

Take part in citizen science by contributing to the first photographic database of Antarctic seals! At the British Antarctic Survey we’re looking to build an Antarctic seal photographic database and would love your help. Despite the large volume of photographic data that exists on charismatic polar megafauna, at present, no indexed photographic database exists for Antarctic seals. A database would be of value to multiple users ranging from scientists to artists. Some example uses may include ID shots to track individual seals, a training dataset for machine learning applications, studies into inter-species fur pattern variation or use in public engagement activities and educational resources.

What we need Please send us your photographs of Antarctic and sub-Antarctic seals! We’re primarily interested in Weddell, crabeater, elephant and fur but feel free to include images of other Antarctic seal species. More photos, the merrier! Photos which show the profile of the whole seal are more useful than extreme close ups (e.g., shots of the eye or small patches of fur). However, please do include as many images as you wish. Information on the location and date are also beneficial. We would prefer a set of images that show different individuals rather than multiple shots of a single seal. Photos of aggregations (e.g., a group of seals) are also useful!

Examples of non-ideal photos:

  • Hundreds of shots of the same individual from the same angle.
  • Seals obscured by the landscape (submerged in water or hidden by ice ridges)
  • Extreme close ups such as those commonly taken of eyes.

Examples of ideal images:

  • Images that show the seal’s whole profile.
  • Images showing a range of individuals within a species (e.g., a group photo).

Example Photos/How to Send Photos

For any queries please contact or