Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Harbor seal pup dispersal and individual morphology, hematology, and contaminant factors affecting survival

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

DOI

Open Access permissions

Open

Author(s)

Denise J. Greig, Frances M. D. Gulland, James T. Harvey, Mike Lonergan, Ailsa J. Hall

School/Research organisations

Abstract

Understanding the factors affecting individual harbor seal (Phoca vitulina) survival is essential for determining population level health risks. We estimated postweaning dispersal, and modeled the effects of morphology, hematology, and blubber contaminants on the survival of recently weaned harbor seal pups using a mark recapture framework. We deployed satellite transmitters on apparently healthy pups captured in San Francisco Bay (SFB, n = 19) and Tomales Bay (TB, n = 7), and pups released after rehabilitation that stranded along the central California coast preweaning (n = 21). Dispersal distances were further than previously reported for harbor seal pups (maximum = 802 km) which has implications for understanding risks to this vulnerable age class. We found differences in body condition, serum immunoglobulin and thyroxine (T4) concentrations, white blood cell count, and blubber organohalogen contamination (OH) among the three groups. Overall, increased T4, decreased OH, and increased mass were associated with greater survival probabilities; whereas, among stranded seals, greater mass gain, shorter time in rehabilitation, and admission to rehabilitation earlier in the season were associated with greater survival probabilities. Attention to these latter factors may improve the success of rehabilitation efforts. For wild pups, reduction of legacy contaminants and direct causes of mortality, such as ship strike, may enhance pup survival.
Close

Details

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages23
JournalMarine Mammal Science
VolumeEarly View
Early online date31 Oct 2018
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 31 Oct 2018

    Research areas

  • Harbor seal, Phoca vitulina, Contaminants, Survival, Dispersal, Stranding, Telemetry, Postweaning, Juvenile, Health

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. Mercury in cetaceans: exposure, bioaccumulation and toxicity

    Kershaw, J. & Hall, A., 30 Jul 2019, In : Science of the Total Environment. 694, p. 1-11 11 p., 133683.

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

  2. Age–length relationships in UK harbour seals during a period of population decline

    Hall, A. J., Mackey, B., Kershaw, J. L. & Thompson, P., 6 Sep 2019, In : Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems. 29, S1, p. 61-70 10 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Investigating decadal changes in persistent organic pollutants in Scottish grey seal pups

    Robinson, K. J., Hall, A. J., Scholl, G., Debier, C., Thomé, J-P., Eppe, G., Adam, C. & Bennett, K. A., 6 Sep 2019, In : Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems. 29, S1, p. 86-100 15 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. Assessing cetacean body condition: is total lipid content in blubber biopsies a useful monitoring tool?

    Kershaw, J. L., Brownlow, A., Ramp, C. A., Miller, P. J. O. & Hall, A. J., 6 Sep 2019, In : Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems. 29, S1, p. 271-282 12 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  5. Shining new light on mammalian diving physiology using wearable near-infrared spectroscopy

    McKnight, J. C., Bennett, K., Bronkhorst, M., Russell, D. JF., Balfour, S., Milne, R., Bivins, M., Moss, S. E. W., Colier, W., Hall, A. J. & Thompson, D., 18 Jun 2019, In : PLoS Biology. 17, 6, 20 p., e3000306.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Related by journal

  1. Marine Mammal Science (Journal)

    Gordon Drummond Hastie (Member of editorial board)
    20 Dec 2017

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPeer review of manuscripts

  2. Marine Mammal Science (Journal)

    Sophie Caroline Smout (Reviewer)
    1 Dec 201730 Dec 2017

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPeer review of manuscripts

  3. Marine Mammal Science (Journal)

    Joanna Louise Kershaw (Member of editorial board)
    17 Jan 2017

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPeer review of manuscripts

  4. Marine Mammal Science (Journal)

    Nora Nell Hanson (Member of editorial board)
    2017

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPeer review of manuscripts

  5. Marine Mammal Science (Journal)

    Sophie Caroline Smout (Reviewer)
    Jul 2016 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPeer review of manuscripts

Related by journal

  1. A computational fluid dynamics (CFD) based method for assessing the hydrodynamic impact of animal borne data loggers on host marine mammals

    Kyte, A., Pass, C., Pemberton, R., Sharman, M. & McKnight, J. C., Apr 2019, In : Marine Mammal Science. 35, 2, p. 364-394

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Accuracy and precision of dolphin group size estimates

    Gerrodette, T., Perryman, W. L. & Oedekoven, C. S., Jan 2019, In : Marine Mammal Science. 35, 1, p. 22-39 18 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Behavioral responses of satellite tracked Blainville's beaked whales (Mesoplodon densirostris) to mid-frequency active sonar

    Joyce, T. W., Durban, J. W., Claridge, D. E., Dunn, C. A., Hickmott, L. S., Fearnbach, H., Dolan, K. & Moretti, D., 17 Jun 2019, In : Marine Mammal Science. Early View

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. Harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) reactions to pingers

    Kindt-Larsen, L., Willestofte Berg, C., Northridge, S. P. & Larsen, F., Apr 2019, In : Marine Mammal Science. 35, 2, p. 552-573

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  5. Breathing synchrony in franciscana (Pontoporia blainvillei) and Guiana dolphins (Sotalia guianensis) in Southern Brazil

    Actis, P. S., Danilewicz, D., Cremer, M. J. & Bortolotto, G. A., Jul 2018, In : Marine Mammal Science. 34, 3, p. 777-789

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

ID: 256419115

Top