Foraging trip strategies and habitat use during late pup rearing by lactating Australian fur seals

Kirkwood, Roger and Arnould, John P. Y. 2011, Foraging trip strategies and habitat use during late pup rearing by lactating Australian fur seals, Australian journal of zoology, vol. 59, no. 4, pp. 216-226.

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Title Foraging trip strategies and habitat use during late pup rearing by lactating Australian fur seals
Author(s) Kirkwood, Roger
Arnould, John P. Y.ORCID iD for Arnould, John P. Y.
Journal name Australian journal of zoology
Volume number 59
Issue number 4
Start page 216
End page 226
Total pages 11
Publisher CSIRO
Place of publication Collingwood, Vic.
Publication date 2011
ISSN 0004-959X
Keyword(s) Arctocephalus
foraging behaviour
marine mammals
marine protected areas
Summary Australian fur seals (Arctocephalus pusillus doriferus) are the most conspicuous and abundant marine mammal in shelf waters of south-eastern Australia. To successfully rear offspring, the females must encounter sufficient prey on each foraging trip out of a central place for periods up to11 months each year. We investigated foraging trip strategies and habitat use by the females in three winter–spring periods, 2001–03, from four colonies that span the species’ latitudinal range and contribute 80% of pup production. Trip durations of 37 females averaged 6.1±0.5 (s.e.) days, although >90% of the seal’s time at sea was spent <150 km travel (<2 days) away. Most females exhibited strong fidelities to individually preferred hotspots Females from colonies adjacent to productive shelf-edge waters generally had shorter trips, had smaller ranges, foraged closer to colonies and exhibited less diversity in trip strategies than did those from colonies more distant from a shelf-edge. From a management perspective, there was minimal overlap (<1%) between where females foraged and a system of marine reserves established in 2007, suggesting that habitats visited by lactating Australian fur seals currently receive minimal legislative protection
Language eng
Field of Research 060809 Vertebrate Biology
Socio Economic Objective 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2011, CSIRO
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