|Use of space by immature spotted seals (Phoca largha) in Peter the Great Bay (Sea of Japan) breeding area|
Nesterenko V.A., Katin I.O.
The terrestrial grouping of the spotted seal Phoca largha (Carnivora, Phocidae) in Peter the Great Bay (Sea of Japan) is one of the smallest (approximately 2,500 individuals) breeding concentration of this species, that is characterized by coastal reproduction. In 2009, 170 seals were hot branded on the islands of the Rimsky-Korsakov Archipelago where all the haulout sites, in which the reproductive ashore associations of spotted seal form and function, are concentrated. Movements of marked animals were monitored year-round between 2009 and 2012, and the spatial distribution of immature seals was studied. Within the breeding area, the use of space by immature seals older than one year was based on the mechanism of “social panmixia” and turned out to be fundamentally different from territory use by underyearlings.
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