Migrations of young spotted seals (Phoca largha) from Peter the Great Bay, Sea of Japan/East Sea, and the pattern of their use of seasonal habitats

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From: PLoS ONE(Vol. 16, Issue 1)
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Document Type: Report
Length: 8,969 words
Lexile Measure: 1450L

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Abstract :

We studied the migrations of young spotted seals during their annual cycle. In May 2017, we attached satellite tags (SPOT-293A) to three individuals (two underyearlings and one yearling) captured at their breeding ground in Peter the Great Bay, western Sea of Japan/East Sea. The operational time of the installed tags ranged from 207 to 333 days; a total of 27195 locations were uploaded. All three seals migrated east and further north along the coast of the mainland. The average daily migration speed of the seals ranged between 70 and 135 km/day. The yearling moved faster than the underyearlings. During early August, they arrived at their summer habitats, which were located in the northern part of the Tatar Strait (Sea of Japan/East Sea) for the underyearling seals and in Aniva Bay (Sea of Okhotsk) for the yearling seal. While moving from the place of tagging to the summer feeding grounds, the seals covered a distance of 2300 to 3100 km. From August to October, each seal permanently stayed within the same isolated area. The reverse migration of all three seals began in November. When the seals traveled south, they used the same routes by which they had moved north in the spring, but they moved at a faster speed. By December, two seals returned to their natal islands, where both stayed until their transmitters stopped sending signals (in March 2018).

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A647526321