Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
Cronin, M., Pomeroy, P., Jessopp, M.
Marine Biology
Size and seasonal influences on the foraging range of female grey seals in the northeast Atlantic
Optional Fields
Evidence of segregation in foraging habitat has been demonstrated in some top marine predators, including cetaceans, pinnipeds and seabirds. However, most data are not adequate to assess differences relating to body size or seasonal influences. This has implications for quantitative modelling of population-level predator–prey interactions and ecosystem structure. We examined potential influence of body size and ‘fatness’ on the foraging trip characteristics of a top marine predator, the Atlantic grey seal (Halichoerus grypus), in southwest Ireland  within the framework of optimal foraging theory to examine how female grey seals foraging behaviour varied with size, and across the period between moult and breeding. Larger seals undertook trips of greater duration and travelled further from haul-out sites than smaller seals. However, body fat was negatively associated with trip duration and extent. Seals spent more time at sea during the summer, but trips were shorter in extent, suggesting more localised foraging during this season
Grant Details