[MARMAM] New publication on killer whale foraging ecology (Jennifer Tennessen)

Jennifer B. Tennessen jtenness at uw.edu
Tue Mar 7 11:04:01 PST 2023

Dear Marmam Community,

My co-authors and I are pleased to share our new paper, "Divergent foraging
strategies between populations of sympatric matrilineal killer whales",
published in *Behavioral Ecology*.

The article is freely available, here


Tennessen, J.B., Holt, M.M., Wright, B.M., Hanson,  M.B., Emmons, C.K.,
Giles, D.A., Hogan, J.T., Thornton, S.J., Deecke, V.B. 2023. Divergent
foraging strategies between populations of sympatric matrilineal killer
whales, *Behavioral Ecology*, arad002,

In cooperative species, human-induced rapid environmental change may
threaten cost-benefit tradeoffs of group behavioral strategies that evolved
in past environments. Capacity for behavioral flexibility can increase
population viability in novel environments. Whether the partitioning of
individual responsibilities within social groups is fixed or flexible
across populations is poorly understood, despite its relevance for
predicting responses to global change at the population and species levels
and designing successful conservation programs. We leveraged bio-logging
data from two populations of fish-eating killer whales to quantify patterns
of fine-scale foraging movements and their relationships with demography.
We reveal striking inter-population differences in patterns of individual
foraging behavior. Females from the endangered Southern Resident (SRKW)
population captured less prey and spent less time pursuing prey than SRKW
males or Northern Resident (NRKW) females, whereas NRKW females captured
more prey than NRKW males. The presence of a calf (<= 3 y) reduced the
number of prey captured by adult females from both populations, but
disproportionately so for SRKW. SRKW adult males with a living mother
captured more prey than those whose mother had died, whereas the opposite
was true for NRKW adult males. Across populations, males foraged in deeper
areas than females, and SRKW captured prey deeper than NRKW. These
population-level differences in patterns of individual foraging behavior
challenge the existing paradigm that females are the disproportionate
foragers in gregarious resident killer whales, and demonstrate considerable
variation in the foraging strategies across populations of an apex marine
predator experiencing different environmental stressors.

Please contact Jennifer Tennessen with questions or to request a pdf, at
jtenness at uw.edu.

Jennifer Tennessen

Jennifer Beissinger Tennessen, Ph.D.
Senior Research Scientist
Center for Ecosystem Sentinels
Department of Biology
University of Washington
Life Sciences Building, Box 351800
Seattle, WA 98195
jtenness at uw.edu
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