[MARMAM] New publication

Rowenna Gryba r.gryba at stat.ubc.ca
Thu Jan 2 12:13:14 PST 2020

Dear colleagues,
I'm please to announce the publication of our manuscript "Inferred foraging locations and water masses preferred by spotted seals Phoca largha and bearded seals Erignathus barbatus" in Marine Ecology Progress Series.

https://doi.org/10.3354/meps13145 (https://doi.org/10.3354/meps13145)

Gryba RD, Wiese FK, Kelly BP, Von Duyke AL, Pickart RS, Stockwell DA (2019) Inferring foraging locations and water masses preferred by spotted seals Phoca largha and bearded seals Erignathus barbatus. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 631:209-224.

ABSTRACT: Spotted seals Phoca largha and bearded seals Erignathus barbatus are ice-associated seals that have overlapping range in the Beaufort, Chukchi, and Bering Seas, but have different foraging ecologies. The link between foraging behaviour and specific oceanographic variables is not well understood for these species, nor is the influence of different dive metrics when modelling their foraging behaviour. To explore the value of different dive metrics to estimate foraging behaviour, and the relationships between foraging and water bodies/oceanographic variables, we tagged 3 spotted seals and 2 bearded seals with satellite telemetry tags that recorded movement and oceanographic data. To infer foraging behaviour, we included dive metrics in Bayesian state-space switching models, and found that models that included depth-corrected dive duration were more parsimonious than models that included dive shape. The addition of vertical movements to the model enabled better determination of foraging areas (inferred from area-restricted searches) and provided insights into the probabilities of switching between foraging and transiting behaviours. The collection of oceanographic data in situ at a scale relevant to seals helped identify water masses, and how they were used, and potential oceanographic cues used by seals to identify foraging locations. Fine-scale spatiotemporal clustering analysis revealed spotted and bearded seal foraging ‘hotspots’ in the Chukchi and Bering Seas that overlap with hotspots identified for other marine mammals and marine birds.

Please feel free to contact me at r.gryba at stat.ubc.ca (mailto:r.gryba at stat.ubc.ca) if you would like to request a copy.


Rowenna Gryba, MSc
PhD Student
Statistical Ecology Research Group
University of British Columbia
xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Territory
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