Long-distance movements and associated diving behaviour of ringed seals (Pusa hispida) in the eastern canadian arctic
Animal movements, Biotelemetry, Foraging, Marine mammal, State-space model
Animal distribution and movement facilitate energy and nutrient transfer within and between regions, thus influencing ecosystem structure and function. Ringed seals (Pusa hispida (Schreber, 1775)) have been observed making sustained, extensive migrations (>1000 km) in the western Canadian Arctic, but observations of their movements from the eastern Canadian Arctic are limited. We equipped 12 ringed seals with satellite telemetry tags in Resolute Bay (n = 7; 2012, 2013) and Tremblay Sound (n = 5; 2017, 2018), Nunavut, to monitor their movements, behavioural states, and diving behaviour from late summer until their spring moult. Six tags transmitted into winter and recorded long-distance movements to southeastern Baffin Island, with three seals travelling through central Baffin Bay (3608 ± 315 km; maximum 4226 km), whereas three travelled along the Baffin Island coastline (3674 ± 655 km; maximum 4872 km). Seals that travelled through central Baffin Bay made shallower dives (25.4 ± 1.1 m) than those that travelled near the coast (100.0 ± 4.1 m). Results provide new information on the variability, scales, and pathways of movement and diving behaviour of eastern Canadian Arctic ringed seals. This new knowledge can be used to inform spatial conservation and management priorities of this ecologically and culturally important species.
Ogloff, Wesley R.; Ferguson, Steven H.; Fisk, Aaron T.; Marcoux, Marianne; Hussey, Nigel E.; Jaworenko, Andrew; and Yurkowski, David J.. (2021). Long-distance movements and associated diving behaviour of ringed seals (Pusa hispida) in the eastern canadian arctic. Arctic Science, 7 (2), 494-511.