[MARMAM] Recent publication: Causes of mortality in South American fur seal pups (Arctocephalus australis gracilis) at Guafo Island

Hector Paves hpaves at gmail.com
Wed Nov 30 17:03:56 PST 2011

Dear friends, the following article (in press) is available online for 
those of you that are interested:

  Causes of mortality in South American fur seal pups (/Arctocephalus
  australis gracilis/) at Guafo Island, southern Chile (2004--2008)

   1. Mauricio Seguel^1 ,Héctor Pavés^2,3,+
      ,Enrique Paredes^4 ,Roberto Schlatter^5

As part of population dynamics studies of the South American fur seal 
(Arctocephalus australis gracilis) rookery at Punta Weather in Guafo 
Island (43? 36'S, 74? 43'W), the causes and extent of pup mortality were 
monitored. During four breeding seasons, daily counts of live and dead 
pups were carried out to determine pup production and pup mortality. 
Dead pups were retrieved from the rookery to perform necropsies. The 
mean pup production was 1,735.5 ± 336 pups and the mean pup mortality up 
to 12 wk old was 6.0% ± 2.6%. The major causes of death were enteritis 
with microscopic lesions of bacteremia (28.4%), starvation (23.5%), 
drowning (21%), trauma (19.8%), and stillbirths (2.5%). Enteritis with 
microscopic lesions of bacteremia, and starvation had higher incidence 
during January (beginning and middle of the breeding season) while most 
trauma and drowning occurred during February (end of the breeding 
season). In the 2006--2007 breeding season there was an increase in 
mortality due to starvation and trauma. Most pup deaths at Guafo Island 
are generated by extrinsic factors; therefore, additional studies that 
assess the impact of environmental changes and fishing activities, are 
needed in order to determine the exact causes of the decline of this 
species along Chilean coasts.

The article can be downloaded from Marine Mammals Sciencewebsite


Best wishes

Dr. Hector Paves Hernandez, Bio. Marino
Doctor en Ciencias, M/Sist&  Ecologia
Profesor Adjunto, LECMAA, Laboratorio de Estudios en Biologia y Conservacion de Mamiferos y Aves Acuaticas
Investigador Postdoctorante Fondecyt, LOCEB, Laboratorio de Oceanografia Biologica
Instituto de Ciencias Marinas y Limnologicas, Universidad Austral de Chile, Campus Isla Teja, Casilla 567, Valdivia, Chile
E-mail: hectorpaves at uach.cl / hpaves at gmail.com , Celular : 56-9-6826729
http://lecmaa.blogspot.com/ http://secure.uach.cl/diracademicos/docentes/default.aspx?id=2038
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