Differences in foraging strategy and maternal behaviour between two sympatric fur seal species at the Crozet Islands

Bailleul, Frédéric, Luque, Sebastian, Dubroca, Laurent, Arnould, John and Guinet, Christophe 2005, Differences in foraging strategy and maternal behaviour between two sympatric fur seal species at the Crozet Islands, Marine ecolgy progress series, vol. 293, pp. 273-282.

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Title Differences in foraging strategy and maternal behaviour between two sympatric fur seal species at the Crozet Islands
Author(s) Bailleul, Frédéric
Luque, Sebastian
Dubroca, Laurent
Arnould, John
Guinet, Christophe
Journal name Marine ecolgy progress series
Volume number 293
Start page 273
End page 282
Publisher Inter-Research
Place of publication Oldendorf, Germany
Publication date 2005-06-02
ISSN 0171-8630
1616-1599
Keyword(s) activity budget
spatial distribution
environmental features
otariidea
Arctocephalus gazella
Arctocephalus tropicalis
Summary Marine top-predators such as marine mammals forage in a heterogeneous environment according to their energetic requirements and to the variation in environmental characteristics. In this study, the behaviour of breeding females in 2 sympatric fur seal species, Antarctic fur seal Arctocephalus gazella and Subantarctic fur seal A. tropicalis, was investigated in relation to foraging effort. Foraging effort was hypothesised to be greater in Antarctic fur seal than in Subantarctic fur seal due to their shorter lactation period. Using satellite telemetry, time-depth recorders and satellite images of sea-surface temperature and chlorophyll a concentration, the foraging grounds, the at-sea activity budgets and the environmental features were determined for both species breeding on the Crozet Archipelago. Foraging cycle duration was similar for the 2 species, and the seals exhibited similar at-sea activity budgets. Only the proportion of time spent at sea was higher in Antarctic fur seals. Separate foraging areas were identified for the 2 species. Antarctic fur seal distribution was related to bathymetric features, while we did not find any direct relationship between chlorophyll a concentration and seal foraging areas. Our results suggest that Antarctic fur seals tend to respond to the higher needs of their pups by having a higher foraging efficiency and concentrating their foraging activity in the most productive areas.
Language eng
Field of Research 060801 Animal Behaviour
Socio Economic Objective 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2005, Inter-Research
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30008867

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Biological and Chemical Sciences
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