Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Pup mortality in a rapidly declining harbour seal (Phoca vitulina) population

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The harbour seal population in Orkney, off the north coast of Scotland, has reduced by 65% between 2001 and 2010. The cause(s) of this decline are unknown but must affect the demographic parameters of the population. Here, satellite telemetry data were used to test the hypothesis that increased pup mortality could be a primary driver of the decline in Orkney. Pup mortality and tag failure parameters were estimated from the duration of operation of atellite tags deployed on harbour seal pups from the Orkney population (n = 4) and from another population on the west coast of Scotland (n = 24) where abundance was stable. Survival probabilities from both populations were best represented by a common gamma distribution and were not different from one another, suggesting that increased pup mortality is unlikely to be the primary agent in the Orkney population decline. The estimated probability of surviving to 6 months was 0.390 (95% CI 0.297 – 0.648) and tag failure was represented by a Gaussian distribution, with estimated mean 270 (95% CI = 198 – 288) and s.d. 21 (95% CI = 1 – 66) days. These results suggest that adult survival is the most likely proximate cause of the decline. They also demonstrate a novel technique for attaining age-specific mortality rates from telemetry data.
Close

Details

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere80727
JournalPLoS One
Volume8
Issue number11
Early online date27 Nov 2013
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 27 Nov 2013

    Research areas

  • Confidence intervals, Death rates, Fecundity, Population dynamics, Probability distribution, Scotland, Seals, Wildlife

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

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. Harbour Seal Decline – vital rates and drivers. Report to Scottish Government HSD2.

    Arso Civil, M., Smout, S. C., Thompson, D., Brownlow, A., Davison, N., Doeschate, M., Duck, C. D., Morris, C., Cummings, C., McConnell, B. J. & Hall, A. J., 2017, Sea Mammal Research Unit. 35 p.

    Research output: Book/ReportOther report

  2. Harbour Seal Decline - vital rates and drivers: Report to Scottish Government MMSS/002/15

    Arso Civil, M., Smout, S. C., Duck, C. D., Morris, C., Onoufriou, J., Thompson, D., Brownlow, A., Davison, N., Cummings, C., Pomeroy, P., McConnell, B. J. & Hall, A. J., Jun 2016, SMRU. 63 p.

    Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

  3. Patterns of space use in sympatric marine colonial predators reveals scales of spatial partitioning

    Jones, E. L., McConnell, B. J., Smout, S. C., Hammond, P. S., Duck, C. D., Morris, C., Thompson, D., Russell, D. J. F., Vincent, C., Cronin, M., Sharples, R. J. & Matthiopoulos, J., 27 Aug 2015, In : Marine Ecology Progress Series. 534, p. 235-249

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Related by journal

  1. PLoS ONE (Journal)

    Catharine Penelope Cross (Member of editorial board)
    1 Sep 2018 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditor of research journal

  2. PLoS ONE (Journal)

    Will Cresswell (Reviewer)
    23 May 2018

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

  3. PLoS ONE (Journal)

    Barbara Dritschel (Member of editorial board)
    May 2018 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditor of research journal

  4. PLoS ONE (Journal)

    Simon Young (Reviewer)
    7 Jun 201719 Jun 2017

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

  5. PLoS ONE (Journal)

    Uli Schwarz-Linek (Reviewer)
    Mar 2017

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

Related by journal

  1. Agreement between primary care and hospital diagnosis of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder: a cross-sectional, observational study using record linkage

    O’Neill, B., Kalia, S., Aliarzadeh, B., Moineddin, R., Fung, W. L. A., Sullivan, F., Maloul, A., Bernard, S. & Greiver, M., 7 Jan 2019, In : PLoS ONE. 14, 1, 15 p., e0210214.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Correlates of social role and conflict severity in wild vervet monkey agonistic screams

    Mercier, S., Déaux, E. C., van de Waal, E., Bono, A. E. J. & Zuberbuhler, K., 1 May 2019, In : PLoS One. 14, 5, 20 p., e0214640.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Molecular epidemiology and expression of capsular polysaccharides in Staphylococcus aureus clinical isolates in the United States

    Mohamed, N., Timofeyeva, Y., Jamrozy, D., Rojas, E., Hao, L., Silmon de Monerri, N. C., Hawkins, J., Singh, G., Cai, B., Liberator, P., Sebastian, S., Donald, R. G. K., Scully, I. L., Jones, C. H., Creech, C. B., Thomsen, I., Parkhill, J., Peacock, S. J., Jansen, K. U., Holden, M. T. G. & 1 othersAnderson, A. S., 14 Jan 2019, In : PLoS ONE. 14, 1, 33 p., e0208356.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. Orangutans (Pongo abelii) make flexible decisions relative to reward quality and tool functionality in a multi-dimensional tool-use task

    Laumer, I. B., Auersperg, A. M. I., Bugnyar, T. & Call, J., 13 Feb 2019, In : PLoS ONE. 14, 2, 13 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  5. Sensitivity of multispecies maximum sustainable yields to trends in the top (marine mammals) and bottom (primary production) compartments of the southern North Sea food-web

    Stäbler, M., Kempf, A., Smout, S. & Temming, A., 28 Jan 2019, In : PLoS ONE. 14, 1, 18 p., e0210882.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

ID: 95068086