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Identifying foraging events in deep diving southern elephant seals, Mirounga leonina, using acceleration data loggers

Citation

Gallon, S and Bailleaul, F and Charrassin, JB and Guinet, C and Bost, CA and Handrich, Y and Hindell, MA, Identifying foraging events in deep diving southern elephant seals, Mirounga leonina, using acceleration data loggers, Deep-Sea Research. Part 2: Topical Studies in Oceanography, 88-89 pp. 14-22. ISSN 0967-0645 (2013) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.dsr2.2012.09.002

Abstract

Southernelephantseals(Miroungaleonina) rangewidelythroughouttheSouthernOceanandare associatedwithimportanthabitats(e.g., iceedges,shelf)wheretheyaccumulateenergytofueltheir reproductiveeffortsonland.Knowledgeofthefinescaleforagingbehaviourusedtogarnerthisenergy, however,islimited.Forthefirsttime,accelerationloggersweredeployedonthreeadultsouthern elephantsealsduringatranslocationstudyatKerguelenIsland.Theaimsofthestudywereto (1) identifypreycaptureattemptsusing2-Daccelerometertagsdeployedontheheadofsouthern elephantseals,(2)comparethenumberofforagingdivesidentifiedbysimpledivedepthprofilesand accelerometerprofilesand(3)comparedivecharacteristicsbetweenpreyencounterandnon-prey encounterdives.The2-Dloggersrecordeddeptheverysecond,surgeandheaveaccelerationsat8or 16 Hzandwerecarriedforperiodsbetween23and121h.Rapidheadmovementswereinterpretedto be associatedwithpreyencounterevents.Accelerationdatadetectedpossiblepreyencountereventsin 39–52%ofdiveswhilst67–80%ofdiveswereclassifiedasforagingdiveswhenusingdivedepthprofiles alone. Preyencountersoccurredinsuccessivedivesduringdaysandnightsandlastedbetweentenths of asecondand7.6min.Binomiallinearmixedeffectmodelsshowedthatsealswerediving significantlydeeperandincreasedbothdescentrateandbottomdurationwhenencounteringprey. Dive duration,however,didnotsignificantlyincreaseduringdiveswithpreyencounters.Theseresults are inaccordancewithoptimalforagingtheory,whichpredictsthatdeepdiversshouldincreaseboth their transitratesandthetimespentatdepthwhenaprofitablepreypatchisencountered.These findings indicatethatthistechniqueispromisingasitmoreaccuratelydetectspossiblepreyencounter eventscomparedwithdivedepthprofilesaloneandthusprovidesabetterunderstandingofseal foragingstrategies.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Kergueln Island, predator prey interactions, marine ecology, diving behaviour, accelerometers
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl. Marine Ichthyology)
Objective Division:Environment
Objective Group:Ecosystem Assessment and Management
Objective Field:Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Antarctic and Sub-Antarctic Environments
Author:Hindell, MA (Professor Mark Hindell)
ID Code:89051
Year Published:2013
Funding Support:Australian Research Council (DP0342714)
Web of Science® Times Cited:25
Deposited By:IMAS Research and Education Centre
Deposited On:2014-02-24
Last Modified:2014-05-23
Downloads:0

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