[MARMAM] new publication: Antarctic fur seals

Rebecca Nagel rebecca.nagel at uni-bielefeld.de
Mon Mar 29 05:45:46 PDT 2021

Dear MARMAM community,

We’d like to let you know about a new publication on Antarctic fur seals 
in the /Proceedings of the Royal Society B/: Evidence for an Allee 
effect in a declining fur seal population. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2020.2882 

Abstract: Allee effects play an important role in the dynamics of many 
populations and can increase the risk of local extinction. However, some 
authors have questioned the weight of evidence for Allee effects in wild 
populations. We therefore exploited a natural experiment provided by two 
adjacent breeding colonies of contrasting density to investigate the 
potential for Allee effects in an Antarctic fur seal (Please feel free 
to contact me if you don't have access to the article! Arctocephalus 
gazella) population that is declining in response to climate 
change-induced reductions in food availability. Biometric time-series 
data were collected from 25 pups per colony during two consecutive 
breeding seasons, the first of which was among the worst on record in 
terms of breeding female numbers, pup birth weights and foraging trip 
durations. In previous decades when population densities were higher, 
pup mortality was consistently negatively density dependent, with rates 
of trauma and starvation scaling positively with density. However, we 
found the opposite, with higher pup mortality at low density and the 
majority of deaths attributable to predation. In parallel, body 
condition was depressed at low density, particularly in the poor-quality 
season. Our findings shed light on Allee effects in wild populations and 
highlight a potential emerging role of predators in the ongoing decline 
of a pinniped species.

Please feel free to contact me if you don't have access to the article!

Kind regards,

Rebecca Nagel

Dr. Rebecca Nagel

mail: rebecca.nagel at uni-bielefeld.de
tel.: +49 521 106-2192
room: VHF-203a

Bielefeld University
Department of Animal Behaviour
PO Box 10 01 31
33501 Bielefeld

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