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Utilisation of intensive foraging zones by female Australian fur seals

Hoskins, Andrew J., Costa, Daniel P. and Arnould, John P.Y. 2015, Utilisation of intensive foraging zones by female Australian fur seals, PLoS One, vol. 10, no. 2, Article Number : e0117997, pp. 1-19, doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0117997.

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Title Utilisation of intensive foraging zones by female Australian fur seals
Author(s) Hoskins, Andrew J.
Costa, Daniel P.
Arnould, John P.Y.ORCID iD for Arnould, John P.Y. orcid.org/0000-0003-1124-9330
Journal name PLoS One
Volume number 10
Issue number 2
Season Article Number : e0117997
Start page 1
End page 19
Total pages 19
Publisher Public Library of Science (PLOS)
Place of publication San Francisco, Calif.
Publication date 2015
ISSN 1932-6203
Keyword(s) Science & Technology
Multidisciplinary Sciences
Science & Technology - Other Topics
AREA-RESTRICTED SEARCH
LIONS PHOCARCTOS-HOOKERI
SOUTHERN ELEPHANT SEALS
1ST-PASSAGE TIME ANALYSIS
AEROBIC DIVE LIMIT
OPTIMAL PATCH USE
1ST PASSAGE TIME
MARINE PREDATOR
DIVING BEHAVIOR
HABITAT USE
Summary Within a heterogeneous environment, animals must efficiently locate and utilise foraging patches. One way animals can achieve this is by increasing residency times in areas where foraging success is highest (area-restricted search). For air-breathing diving predators, increased patch residency times can be achieved by altering both surface movements and diving patterns. The current study aimed to spatially identify the areas where female Australian fur seals allocated the most foraging effort, while simultaneously determining the behavioural changes that occur when they increase their foraging intensity. To achieve this, foraging behaviour was successfully recorded with a FastLoc GPS logger and dive behaviour recorder from 29 individual females provisioning pups. Females travelled an average of 118 ± 50 km from their colony during foraging trips that lasted 7.3 ± 3.4 days. Comparison of two methods for calculating foraging intensity (first-passage time and first-passage time modified to include diving behaviour) determined that, due to extended surface intervals where individuals did not travel, inclusion of diving behaviour into foraging analyses was important for this species. Foraging intensity 'hot spots' were found to exist in a mosaic of patches within the Bass Basin, primarily to the south-west of the colony. However, the composition of benthic habitat being targeted remains unclear. When increasing their foraging intensity, individuals tended to perform dives around 148 s or greater, with descent/ascent rates of approximately 1.9 m•s-1 or greater and reduced postdive durations. This suggests individuals were maximising their time within the benthic foraging zone. Furthermore, individuals increased tortuosity and decreased travel speeds while at the surface to maximise their time within a foraging location. These results suggest Australian fur seals will modify both surface movements and diving behaviour to maximise their time within a foraging patch.
Language eng
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0117997
Field of Research 060201 Behavioural Ecology
060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology)
Socio Economic Objective 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2015, Public Library of Science (PLOS)
Free to Read? Yes
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30070858

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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 13 times in TR Web of Science
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.