[MARMAM] new Australian sea lion foraging ontogeny publication

Lowther, Andrew (PIRSA-SARDI) Andrew.Lowther at sa.gov.au
Thu Sep 6 22:39:00 PDT 2012

Dear list members,

The Australian sea lion story continues.  Pleased to announce the publication of a recent paper looking at early foraging ontogeny,  published in Marine Biology.

Lowther, A.D. and Goldsworthy, S.D. (2012). "Head Start: Australian sea lion pups gain experience of adult foraging grounds before weaning". Marine Biology DOI 10.1007/s00227-012-2026-2


The extended lactation period of the Australian sea lion Neophoca cinerea is suggested to provide additional time for offspring to achieve nutritional independence.  We examine the dive and movement development of pups at two age classes (six and 10 months) from two colonies (Lilliput and Olive Islands) in South Australia using archival GPS and time-depth recorders to investigate the degree of overlap with maternal home range.  Older pups from Lilliput travelled significantly further and spent more time at sea than younger pups.  At Olive there was a similar increase in distance travelled and time spent at sea with age.  Pups at both colonies started occupying adult female home range at six months. Australian sea lion pups can explore adult foraging habitat at least eight months prior to weaning allowing them to learn the location of suitable habitat and the skills required to hunt successfully.

Any questions, don't hesitate to ask.

Dr Andrew Lowther
Research Scientist (Marine Mammal Ecology)
Threatened, Endangered & Protected Species (TEPS) South Australian Research & Development Institute (SARDI) - Aquatic Sciences
2 Hamra Avenue
West Beach
SA 5024
Postal address: PO Box 120, Henley Beach, SA 5022, AUSTRALIA
Tel : +61 8 8207 5428
Fax : +61 8 8207 5481
Mob: 0458 120 688
http://www.sardi.sa.gov.au/ <http://www.sardi.sa.gov.au/>

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