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ESR 4:195-203 (2008)  -  DOI:

Juvenile Steller sea lion dive behavior following temporary captivity

Jamie D. Thomton1,*, Jo-Ann E. Mellish1,2, Daniel R. Hennen1, Markus Horning3

1Alaska SeaLife Center, 301 Railway Ave, PO Box 1329, Seward, Alaska 99664, USA
2School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, 245 O’Neill Bldg, PO Box 757220, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, Alaska 99775, USA
3Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Marine Mammal Institute, Hatfield Marine Science Center, Oregon State University, 2030 SE Marine Science Drive, Newport, Oregon 97365, USA

ABSTRACT: Wild-caught juvenile Steller sea lions Eumetopias jubatus (n = 21) were maintained in temporary captivity for up to 12 wk to investigate health, disease, nutrition and behavior. We assessed the effects of captivity on post-release dive behavior and movement of each animal using externally mounted satellite data recorders. Based on a 74.1 ± 9.6 (SE) d tag transmission period, the mean dive depth (26.2 ± 4.0 [SE] m), dive duration (1.4 ± 0.1 [SE] min), dive rate (10.1 ± 0.5 [SE] dives h1), trip duration (10.8 ± 0.7 [SE] h), haul-out duration (11.3 ± 0.9 [SE] h) and time wet (46.9 ± 2.6 [SE]%) were within the range of previously published values. Movement (190.0 ± 31.9 [SE] km) between haul-outs and rookeries during the tracking period was also typical of juvenile Steller sea lions in Alaska. This study indicates that temporary captivity has little or no detrimental effect on dive performance or movement in the tracking period following release.

KEY WORDS: Steller sea lion · Dive behavior · Captivity · Satellite data recorder

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Cite this article as: Thomton JD, Mellish JAE, Hennen DR, Horning M (2008) Juvenile Steller sea lion dive behavior following temporary captivity. Endang Species Res 4:195-203.

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