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Factors influencing and consequences of breeding dispersal and habitat choice in female grey seals (Halichoerus grypus) on Sable Island, Nova Scotia

Weitzman, Jenny ; Den Heyer, Cornelia ; Bowen, Don W

Oecologia, February 2017, Vol.183(2), pp.367-378 [Peer Reviewed Journal]

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  • Title:
    Factors influencing and consequences of breeding dispersal and habitat choice in female grey seals (Halichoerus grypus) on Sable Island, Nova Scotia
  • Author: Weitzman, Jenny ; Den Heyer, Cornelia ; Bowen, Don W
  • Description: Selection of breeding location can influence reproductive success and fitness. Breeding dispersal links habitat use and reproduction. This study investigated factors affecting breeding dispersal and its reproductive consequences in grey seals (Halichoerus grypus) on Sable Island, Nova Scotia. Breeding dispersal distance was determined in 692 individually marked, known-age female grey seals observed from 2004 to 2014. We used generalized linear mixed-effects models to test hypotheses concerning environmental and demographic factors influencing breeding dispersal distance and the consequences of dispersal distance on offspring weaning mass. Grey seal females rarely exhibited fidelity to previous breeding sites. Median dispersal distance between years was 5.1 km. Only 2.9% of females returned to a previous breeding site. Breeding dispersal distance was affected by parity and density, but effects were small and are presumably of no biological significance. Variation in dispersal distance among...
  • Is Part Of: Oecologia, February 2017, Vol.183(2), pp.367-378
  • Identifier: E-ISSN: 1432-1939 ; PMID: 27864645 Version:1 ; DOI: 10.1007/s00442-016-3764-5
  • Subjects: Breeding Dispersal ; Habitat ; Marine Mammal ; Offspring Weaning Mass ; Pinniped ; Site Fidelity ; Mustelidae ; Seals, Earless
  • Language: English
  • Source: MEDLINE/PubMed (U.S. National Library of Medicine)

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