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Dispersion and site fidelity of breeding male grey seals (Halichoevus grypus) on North Rona, Scotland

Authors

  • S. D. Twiss,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Zoology, The University of Glasgow, Glasgow, GI2 8QQ, Scotland
      * Address for correspondence: c/o University of Durham, Department of Biological Sciences, South Road, Durham DHl 3LE
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  • P. P. Pomeroy,

    1. Natural Environment Research Council, Sea Mammal Research Unit, High Cross, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 OET, UK
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  • S. S. Anderson

    1. Natural Environment Research Council, Sea Mammal Research Unit, High Cross, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 OET, UK
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* Address for correspondence: c/o University of Durham, Department of Biological Sciences, South Road, Durham DHl 3LE

Abstract

The daily locations of socially active male grey seals were recorded during three successive breeding seasons on North Rona (Outer Hebrides, Scotland). Areas of occupancy were defined for 38 individually identified males. Socially active males showed a high degree of site fidelity, determined from the overlap of areas and distance moved by individuals between seasons. The degree of site fidelity displayed by individuals was not related to measures of individual mating success, dominance, date of arrival to the colony, length of stay at the colony or changes in these values between seasons. As both male and female grey seals display site fidelity on N. Rona, individual recognition of potential opponents and mates is possible. There is also potential for the production of full sibling offspring in successive seasons.

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