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Influence of time of day and month on Weddell seal haul-out patterns at the Vestfold Hills, Antarctica


Lake, SE and Burton, HR and Hindell, MA, Influence of time of day and month on Weddell seal haul-out patterns at the Vestfold Hills, Antarctica, Polar Biology, 18, (5) pp. 319-324. ISSN 0722-4060 (1997) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1007/s003000050194


A diurnal pattern in haul-out behaviour has been described for Weddell seals at McMurdo Sound, Antarctica, but regional and seasonal variations were previously unknown. Knowledge of activity patterns is important for standardising census methods and census data. This study quantified the diurnal pattern in haulout behaviour of Weddell seals at the Vestfold Hills from October 1994 to March 1995. Sequential counts of seals on the ice showed that, between 0900 and 1930 hours, seal abundance differed up to 95%. Fewer seals were hauled out in the morning than in the afternoon. The maximum numbers of seals were hauled out at the warmest time of day. The diurnal cycle was less pronounced in the breeding season than in the moulting season. The findings indicated the importance of censusing Weddell seals after 1430 hours and before 1700 hours local time, especially in the moulting season. Correction factors are given for month and time of day.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology)
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Terrestrial systems and management
Objective Field:Assessment and management of terrestrial ecosystems
UTAS Author:Lake, SE (Dr Samantha Lake)
UTAS Author:Hindell, MA (Professor Mark Hindell)
ID Code:11829
Year Published:1997
Web of Science® Times Cited:26
Deposited By:Zoology
Deposited On:1997-08-01
Last Modified:2011-08-12

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