Fur Seal Investigations, 1971
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Fur Seal Investigations, 1971

  • 1972

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  • NOAA Program & Office:
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    Field investigations were conducted on the Pribilof Islands and at sea from March to October 1971. The kill of fur seals was 31,795 males and 103 females. Total counts of living adult males were 8, 659 in June and 7, 8 69 in July . Dead fur seals counted consisted of 51, 659 pups and 172 animals older than pups. Post-mortem examinations show apparent malnutrition and hookworm disease as the principal causes of death among 486 pups examined in 1971. The average weights of 800 pups were 9.4 kg. for male s and 8.1 for females. We marked 24, 995 pups of both sexes and 3, 992 males selected as 1- and 2-year oIds, and 2, 554 marked males were recovered. Pup population estimates at the time of tagging for year classes 1966- 68, from mark recoveries in 1971, were 323, 999, 437,866, and 550,808, respectively. The estimates for year classes 1967-68 are much higher than would be expected from estimate s based on shearing and sampling in 1966, 1969, and 1970. Estimates based on tag recoveries are inflated for several reasons, with tag-caused mortality and unidentified tag losses probably the most important. Of 1,323 seals sighted off Washington, 353 were collected, 44 were wounded and lost, and 63 were killed and lost.
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