|Influence of feeding on haul-out patterns and sizes of sub-populations in harbour seals|
Härkönen, T.J. (1987). Influence of feeding on haul-out patterns and sizes of sub-populations in harbour seals. Neth. J. Sea Res. 21(4): 331-339
In: Netherlands Journal of Sea Research. Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ): Groningen; Den Burg. ISSN 0077-7579, more
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Harbour seals (Phoca vitulina) in European waters are distributed in clusters. This pattern of distribution is approximately similar from year to year in the Kattegat-Skaggerak area. Haul-out patterns over the season showed distinct differences between localities surrounded by shallow bottoms and localities surrounded by deeper bottoms. A theory, based on certain aspects in the feeding ecology of harbour seals in the area, is presented to explain why seal groups of different sizes are maintained locally. The theory would also explain differences in haul-out patterns over the season at different localities. Alternative possibilities are discussed.