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1 December 2005 Photo-identification, Site Fidelity, and Movement of Female Gray Seals (Halichoerus grypus) Between Haul-outs in the Baltic Sea
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Abstract

The growing gray seal population in the Baltic Sea has led to increased conflicts with fisheries. Despite limited data on gray seal ecology, management measures, such as culling, have been implemented recently. We studied movements and site fidelity of Baltic gray seals using mark-recapture analysis based on photographic identification of individuals (photo-id). Seals were photographed at the major summer haul-out sites. Profile photographs of the head and neck were matched using purpose-written software to generate a database of capture histories from 1995–2000. The haul-outs were grouped into seven areas. Darroch's method (20) for a two-sample capture-recapture census was adapted to estimate rates of movement between the areas. The majority of seals were estimated to remain within the same area, suggesting that Baltic gray seals exhibit a high degree of site fidelity during the summer, and that fidelity to a site lasts for more than one season.

Olle Karlsson, Lex Hiby, Torkel Lundberg, Mart Jüssi, Ivar Jüssi, and Björn Helander "Photo-identification, Site Fidelity, and Movement of Female Gray Seals (Halichoerus grypus) Between Haul-outs in the Baltic Sea," AMBIO: A Journal of the Human Environment 34(8), (1 December 2005). https://doi.org/10.1579/0044-7447-34.8.628
Received: 28 August 2003; Accepted: 1 December 2004; Published: 1 December 2005
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