[MARMAM] New Publication: Seal Occurrence and Habitat Use during Summer in Petermann Fjord, Northwestern Greenland

Kate Lomac-MacNair klomacmacnair at gmail.com
Tue Sep 18 02:48:44 PDT 2018


We are pleased to announce the publication of a new paper:
 
Lomac-MacNair, K., Jakobsson, M., Mix, A., Freire, F., Hogan, K., Mayer, L.,
and Smultea, M.A.  2018. Seal Occurrence and Habitat Use during Summer in
Petermann Fjord, Northwestern Greenland. Arctic 71(3): 334-348
https://doi.org/10.14430/arctic4735
ABSTRACT
Ice-associated seals are considered especially susceptible and are
potentially the first to modify distribution and habitat use in response to
physical changes associated with the changing climate. Petermann Glacier,
part of a unique ice-tongue fjord environment in a rarely studied region of
northwestern Greenland, lost substantial sections of its ice tongue during
major 2010 and 2012 calving events. As a result, changes in seal habitat may
have occurred. Seal occurrence and distribution data were collected in
Petermann Fjord and adjacent Nares Strait region over 27 days (2 to 28
August) during the multidisciplinary scientific Petermann 2015 Expedition on
the icebreaker Oden. During 239.4 hours of dedicated observation effort, a
total of 312 individuals were recorded, representing four species: bearded
seal (Erignathus barbatus), hooded seal (Crystophora cristata), harp seal
(Pagophilus groenlandicus), and ringed seal (Pusa hispida). Ringed seals
were recorded significantly more than the other species (χ2 = 347.4, df = 3,
p < 0.001, n = 307). We found significant differences between species in
haul-out (resting on ice) behavior (χ2 = 133.1, df = 3, p < 0.001, n = 307).
Bearded seals were more frequently hauled out (73.1% n = 49), whereas ringed
seals were almost exclusively in water (93.9%, n = 200). Differences in
average depth and ice coverage where species occurred were also significant:
harp seals and bearded seals were found in deeper water and areas of greater
ice coverage (harp seals: 663 ± 366 m and 65 ± 14% ice cover; bearded seals:
598 ± 259 m and 50 ± 21% ice cover), while hooded seals and ringed seals
were found in shallower water with lower ice coverage (hooded seals: 490 ±
163 m and 38 ± 19% ice cover; ringed seals: 496 ± 235 m, and 21 ± 20% ice
cover). Our study provides an initial look at how High Arctic seals use the
rapidly changing Petermann Fjord and how physical variables influence their
distribution in one of the few remaining ice-tongue fjord environments.
 
Our paper is available online at:
https://arctic.journalhosting.ucalgary.ca/arctic/index.php/arctic/issue/view
/299 
<https://arctic.journalhosting.ucalgary.ca/arctic/index.php/arctic/issue/vie
w/299> 


Or via e-mail request to klomacmacnair at gmail.com
 
Cheers, 
 
Kate Lomac-MacNair
PhD Candidate
Center of Marine Sciences (CCMAR)
University of Algarve, Faro, Portugal
907.306.7870
klomacmacnair at gmail.com



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