Authors

Maureen Duffy

Document Type

Internship Report

Publication Date

Fall 2014

Abstract

The Steller sea lion (Eumetopias jubatus) experienced a dramatic population decline from 1960 to 1989. This decline resulted in the western distinct population of Steller sea lions being listed as endangered by the National Marine Fisheries Service in 1997. In 1999 the Alaska SeaLife Center began remotely monitoring several sites used by Steller sea lions in the northern Gulf of Alaska. This study utilized data collected from this project to examine movements of female Steller sea lions between several haulout and rookery sites. The offspring status of each female for each year was also determined to investigate any potential effects this may have on female movements. Offspring status had a significant effect on the arrival and departure dates of females at Chiswell Island and Grotto Island, as well as on the departure dates at the Seal Rocks site. Year had a significant effect on the arrival dates at Chiswell Island and Grotto Island, and the departure dates at Chiswell Island and Cape Resurrection. The effect of the individual had a significant effect on the arrival and departure dates at Chiswell Island and Grotto Island. There was a significant interaction effect between year and offspring status on arrival dates at Chiswell Island and Cape Resurrection, as well as on departure dates at Chiswell Island. A significant interaction effect was found between year and individual on the arrival and departure dates at Chiswell Island and Grotto Island, and on arrival dates at Cape Resurrection. The interaction effect between individual and offspring status had a significant effect on the arrival and departure dates at Chiswell Island. This information can be used to help determine critical habitats for Steller sea lions and improve the understanding of movements and site usage by females.

Comments

Department: MBF

MPS Track: MMS

Location: Alaska SeaLife Center , Seward, AK

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