ESTIMATION OF AGE-SPECIFIC PROBABILITIES OF FIRST RETURN AND ANNUAL SURVIVAL RATES FOR THE MALE GRAY SEAL (HALICHOERUS GRYPUS) ON SABLE ISLAND FROM CAPTURE-RECAPTURE DATA

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Abstract

We used a longitudinal capture-recapture study to estimate the age-specific probabilities of first return to the breeding colony and annual survival rates for male gray seals (Halichoerus grypus), based on resightings of seals branded as young on Sable Island. We estimated that the average age of first returns for seals born in 1969–1970 to be 9.1 (SE 0.4) yr; for seals born in 1973–1974 it is estimated to be 9.8 (SE 0.2) yr. The estimated annual survival rate of these males was estimated to be 0.976 (SE 0.003).

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