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Estimating dispersal rates of Steller sea lion (Eumetopias jubatus) mother-pup pairs from a natal rookery using mark-resight data
  • Published Date:
    2017
  • Source:
    PLOS ONE. 2017; 12(12): e0189061.
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Estimating dispersal rates of Steller sea lion (Eumetopias jubatus) mother-pup pairs from a natal rookery using mark-resight data
Details:
  • Alternative Title:
    Estimating dispersal rates of Steller sea lion (Eumetopias jubatus) mother-pup pairs from a natal rookery using mark-resight data
  • Description:
    To monitor population trends of Steller sea lions (Eumetopias jubatus) in Alaska, newborn pups are counted during aerial surveys. These surveys are scheduled to occur after the majority of pups are born, but before pups begin to spend significant time in the water. Some studies have reported dispersal of mother-pup pairs away from breeding beaches during the pupping season (July), which may influence survey results. Using a multistate mark-recapture model with state uncertainty, we estimated the amount of dispersal during the pupping season based on observations of permanently marked sea lions. Research was conducted at land-based observation sites on Marmot Island, Alaska, between 2000 and 2013. Both marked adult females with dependent pups and marked pups were observed at two rookery beaches from May to July. Cumulative dispersal rates were minimal (< 1%) prior to the planned start of the aerial survey (23 June) and increased to 11.2% by the planned survey completion date (10 July). The increased cumulative dispersal rate during the remainder of the observation period (end of July) suggests potential bias in surveys that occur beyond 10 July, however surveys past this date are rare (< 10% between 1973 and 2016). As a result, movements of mother-pup pairs during the pupping season are not likely to influence aerial survey estimates.
  • DOI:
    10.1371/journal.pone.0189061
  • Pubmed Central ID:
    PMC5718514
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