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Post-breeding at-sea movements of three central-place foragers in relation to submesoscale fronts in the Southern Ocean around Bouvetøya

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  29 May 2014

Andrew D. Lowther
Affiliation:
Norwegian Polar Institute, Fram Centre, N-9296 Tromsø, Norway
Christian Lydersen
Affiliation:
Norwegian Polar Institute, Fram Centre, N-9296 Tromsø, Norway
Martin Biuw
Affiliation:
Norwegian Polar Institute, Fram Centre, N-9296 Tromsø, Norway Aquaplan-niva, Fram Centre, N-9296 Tromsø, Norway
P.J. Nico de Bruyn
Affiliation:
Mammal Research Institute, Department of Zoology and Entomology, University of Pretoria, Private Bag X20, Hatfield 0028, Pretoria, South Africa
Greg J.G. Hofmeyr
Affiliation:
Port Elizabeth Museum at Bayworld, Humewood 6013, Port Elizabeth, South Africa
Kit M. Kovacs
Affiliation:
Norwegian Polar Institute, Fram Centre, N-9296 Tromsø, Norway
Corresponding
E-mail address:

Abstract

At-sea behaviour of central-place foraging fur seals and penguins in the Southern Ocean is understudied during the latter stages of parental care and the subsequent pre-moulting period. This biologically important period is costly to investigate due to the risk (or certainty) of losing tracking instruments when the animals moult. Early in this period, parents must meet the increasing demands of larger, more mobile offspring that are still nutritionally dependent and then the parents must recover lost body condition prior to the onset of their annual moult. This study reports late-season, at-sea movement patterns of macaroni penguins, chinstrap penguins and adult female Antarctic fur seals from the subantarctic island Bouvetøya, in relation to remotely-sensed oceanographic features. Foraging trips differing significantly in direction and distance travelled compared to those performed earlier in the breeding season, coincide with the time when offspring would be expected to become independent. On these trips, macaroni penguins moved towards the Polar Front while chinstrap penguins and Antarctic fur seals moved southward. Individuals from all three species appeared to target submesoscale ocean features once they were presumed to have been released from the constraints of feeding their young and were able to travel greater distances from the colony.

Type
Biological Sciences
Copyright
© Antarctic Science Ltd 2014 

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