Samantha Hindle Thesis

Samantha Hindle Thesis-33
iii Preface I designed the research protocols and conducted the field experiments described in Chapters 3 to 6, and performed all of the data analyses in all of the Chapters.I also prepared and wrote Chapters 2 to 6 as stand-alone manuscripts for publication.DNA-metabarcoding measures of northern fur seal scats were performed in collaboration with Austen Thomas (Chapter 4).

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NFS females employed two foraging strategies with very different efficiencies (~1.4 vs ~3.0) that were associated with different foraging habitats and diet qualities.

However, NFS with the more efficient strategy (3.0) undertook longer foraging trips than the other NFS (1.4) or AFS (3.4), and thus fed their pups ~20% less frequently.

iv Table of contents Abstract ......................................................................................................................... ii Preface .......................................................................................................................... iii Table of contents ......................................................................................................... iv List of tables ................................................................................................................. x List of figures ............................................................................................................. xiii Lists of abbreviations............................................................................................... xvii Acknowledgements ................................................................................................... xix Dedication .................................................................................................................. xxi Chapter 1: General introduction ................................................................................ 1 1.1 Study species and sites.................................................................................................... 2 1.2 Methodology ................................................................................................................... 8 1.3 Research objectives and hypotheses .............................................................................

11 1.4 Thesis outline ................................................................................................................ 13 Chapter 2: Accelerometers can measure total and activity-specific energy expenditure in free-ranging marine mammals only if linked to time-activity budgets ........................................................................................................................

I investigated how female foraging strategies during the breeding season impact the foraging efficiencies and reproductive successes of two fur seal species—one declining (NFS–northern fur seals, St.

Paul Island, Alaska) and one increasing (AFS–Antarctic fur seals, Kerguelen Island, Southern Ocean).

Efficient extraction of energy from the environment is key to the survival and reproductive success of wild animals.

Understanding the ratio of energy gained to energy spent of different foraging strategies (i.e., foraging efficiency) can shed light on how animals cope with environmental changes and how it affects population trajectories.

37 2.5.1 Dynamic body acceleration ................................................................................... 37 2.5.2 Time-activity budgets and activity-specific energy expenditures .........................

41 2.5.3 Conclusions ........................................................................................................... 45 Chapter 3: Do flipper stroke rates and amplitudes accurately predict energy expenditure in foraging northern fur seals and Antarctic fur seals? 47 3.1 Summary ....................................................................................................................... 47 3.2 Introduction................................................................................................................... 48 3.3 Material and methods ................................................................................................... 49 3.3.1 Data collection ....................................................................................................... 49 3.3.2 Energy expenditure, diving and foraging parameters, and time-activity budgets .

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