n African Zoology - Female attendance patterns of Antarctic fur seals at Marion Island - : short communication

Volume 38, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1562-7020
  • E-ISSN: 2224-073X
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Attendance patterns of female Antarctic fur seals (<I>Arctocephalus gazella</I>) at Marion Island were studied during the 1998 to 2000 lactation periods, and compared with those recorded in 1987. Over the same period, body mass of pups close to the age of weaning was estimated to obtain an index of pup growth. Foraging trips were longest and pup growth was poorest in 1999, a year with unusually high sea-surface temperatures around Marion Island. Pup growth was greatest during the year with the shortest foraging trips. Foraging trip durations were longer than in 1987, but more years of study are required to investigate the relationship of attendance patterns and pup growth with changing population size and oceanographic conditions.

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