AB 17:71-79 (2012)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/ab00463

Marine habitats of juvenile southern elephant seals from Marion Island

Cheryl A. Tosh1,*, Jumari Steyn1, Horst Bornemann2, John van den Hoff3, Brent S. Stewart4, Joachim Plötz2, Marthán N. Bester1

1Mammal Research Institute, Department of Zoology and Entomology, University of Pretoria, Private Bag X20, Hatfield 0028, South Africa
2Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Postfach 120161, 27515 Bremerhaven, Germany
3Australian Antarctic Division, Channel Highway, Kingston, Tasmania 7050, Australia
4Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute, 2595 Ingraham Street, San Diego, California 92109, USA

ABSTRACT: Marine mammals forage in dynamic environments characterized by variables that are continuously changing in relation to large-scale oceanographic processes. In the present study, behavioural states of satellite-tagged juvenile southern elephant seals (n = 16) from Marion Island were assessed for each reliable location, using variation in turning angle and speed in a state–space modelling framework. A mixed modelling approach was used to analyse the behavioural response of juvenile southern elephant seals to sea-surface temperature and proximity to frontal and bathymetric features. The findings emphasised the importance of frontal features as potentially rewarding areas for foraging juvenile southern elephant seals and provided further evidence of the importance of the area west of Marion Island for higher trophic-level predators. The importance of bathymetric features during the transit phase of juvenile southern elephant seal migrations indicates the use of these features as possible navigational cues.


KEY WORDS: Marion Island · Southern elephant seals · Juveniles · Frontal features


Full text in pdf format  
Cite this article as: Tosh CA, Steyn J, Bornemann H, van den Hoff J, Stewart BS, Plötz J, Bester MN (2012) Marine habitats of juvenile southern elephant seals from Marion Island. Aquat Biol 17:71-79. https://doi.org/10.3354/ab00463

Export citation
Mail this link - Contents Mailing Lists - RSS
- -