Summer foraging activity and movements of radio-tagged common seals (Phoca vitulina L.) in the Moray Firth, Scotland.

Published online
31 Aug 1990
Content type
Journal article
Journal title
Journal of Applied Ecology

Thompson, P. M. & Miller, D.

Publication language


Very high frequency telemetry was used to study summer foraging patterns and movements of 3 adult common seals (Phoca vitulina) in the Moray Firth, UK. Seals travelled up to 45 km from their haul-out sites on feeding trips of up to 6 days. Trip duration and foraging range were significantly correlated for all seals, although the precise form of this relation differed between individuals. Harmonic mean analyses showed that at-sea locations were often clumped. Two individuals returned regularly to particular feeding areas, apparently associated with habitats such as rocky reefs and offshore sandbanks. Spatial and temporal variations in the distribution of seals are discussed in relation to their breeding activity and to changes in feed availability.

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