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Dive characteristics can predict foraging success in Australian fur seals (Arctocephalus pusillus doriferus) as validated by animal-borne video


Volpov, BL and Rosen, DAS and Hoskins, AJ and Lourie, HJ and Dorville, N and Baylis, AMM and Wheatley, KE and Marshall, G and Abernathy, K and Semmens, J and Hindell, MA and Arnould, JPY, Dive characteristics can predict foraging success in Australian fur seals (Arctocephalus pusillus doriferus) as validated by animal-borne video, Biology Open, 5, (3) pp. 262-271. ISSN 2046-6390 (2016) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright 2016 The Company of Biologists Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium provided that the original work is properly attributed.

DOI: doi:10.1242/bio.016659


Dive characteristics and dive shape are often used to infer foraging success in pinnipeds. However, these inferences have not been directly validated in the field with video, and it remains unclear if this method can be applied to benthic foraging animals. This study assessed the ability of dive characteristics from time-depth recorders (TDR) to predict attempted prey capture events (APC) that were directly observed on animal-borne video in Australian fur seals (Arctocephalus pusillus doriferus, n = 11). The most parsimonious model predicting the probability of a dive with ≥ 1 APC on video included only descent rate as a predictor variable. The majority (94%) of the 389 total APC were successful, and the majority of the dives (68%) contained at least one successful APC. The best model predicting these successful dives included descent rate as a predictor. Comparisons of the TDR model predictions to video yielded a maximum accuracy of 77.5% in classifying dives as either APC or non-APC or 77.1% in classifying dives as successful verses unsuccessful. Foraging intensity, measured as either total APC per dive or total successful APC per dive, was best predicted by bottom duration and ascent rate. The accuracy in predicting total APC per dive varied based on the number of APC per dive with maximum accuracy occurring at 1 APC for both total (54%) and only successful APC (52%). Results from this study linking verified foraging dives to dive characteristics potentially opens the door to decades of historical TDR datasets across several otariid species.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:crittercam, foraging behaviour, animal-borne video, dive profile analysis
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology)
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Coastal and estuarine systems and management
Objective Field:Assessment and management of coastal and estuarine ecosystems
UTAS Author:Semmens, J (Professor Jayson Semmens)
UTAS Author:Hindell, MA (Professor Mark Hindell)
ID Code:108620
Year Published:2016
Funding Support:Australian Research Council (DP110102065)
Web of Science® Times Cited:10
Deposited By:Ecology and Biodiversity
Deposited On:2016-04-27
Last Modified:2018-04-11
Downloads:185 View Download Statistics

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