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Foraging ground fidelity and route-choice tactics of a marine predator: the Antarctic fur seal Arctocephalus gazella


Bonadonna, F and Lea, MA and Dehorter, O and Guinet, C, Foraging ground fidelity and route-choice tactics of a marine predator: the Antarctic fur seal Arctocephalus gazella, Marine Ecology Progress Series, 223 pp. 287-297. ISSN 0171-8630 (2001) [Refereed Article]


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Copyright © 2001 Inter-Research.

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DOI: doi:10.3354/meps223287


This study examins the intra- and inter-individual changes in the foraging route-choice behaviour of 45 female Antarctic fur seals Arctocephalus gazella breeding at the Cap Noir colony in the Kerguelen Archipelago, southern Indian Ocean. Satellite transmitters were used to track seals during one or more consecutive foraging trips in 3 consecutive austral summers (1998 to 2000). In all years of study the seals showed a Ścolony-preferred directioną, concentrating their trips at sea in a 140° arc east of Kerguelen, indicating a preferred area for foraging. Within this area, lactating females travelled in 1 of 2 main directions: north east toward the edge of the Kerguelen plateau; and less commonly, east/south east. Each direction led seals to sub-areas characterised by different bathymetric features where animals appeared to use different tactics to search for food patches. Moreover, a fidelity index incorporating the mean direction of successive trips and the colony preferred direction indicated the existence of an individual directional fidelity. The organisation of foraging trips suggests 2 levels of learning by seals: a colony memory of the main foraging zone and an individual memory of profitable patches that are exploited by the same individual during successive trips.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Antarctic fur seal · Satellite transmitter · Foraging trip · Kerguelen
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Environmental management
Research Field:Wildlife and habitat management
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Coastal and estuarine systems and management
Objective Field:Assessment and management of coastal and estuarine ecosystems
UTAS Author:Lea, MA (Professor Mary-Anne Lea)
ID Code:22364
Year Published:2001
Web of Science® Times Cited:68
Deposited By:Zoology
Deposited On:2001-08-01
Last Modified:2011-08-03
Downloads:520 View Download Statistics

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