Variation in Foraging Behaviour

Need help with my writing homework on Variation in Foraging Behaviour of Harbour Seals at the Antarctic. Write a 1750 word paper answering; According to the Seal Conservation Society (2011), there are five known species of the harbor seal which include the eastern Atlantic harbor seal (Phoca vitulina vitulina), the western Atlantic harbor seal (Phoca vitulina concolor), Ungava seal (Phoca vitulina mellonae), the eastern Pacific harbor seal (Phoca vitulina richardii) and western Pacific harbor seal (Phoca vitulina stejnegeri).The Antarctic is one of the coldest and driest places on earth and it is estimated to contain almost 90 percent of the earth’s ice. The Antarctic is one of the coldest and driest places on earth and it is estimated to contain almost 90 percent of the earth’s ice. Harbour Seals is just one of the many types of seals living in the Antarctic. Others include the Weddel seals, Southern Fur seal, South Elephant Seal, and the Crabeater seal. Harbor seals like living in shallow waters from where the haul-out to rest on the beach.Brasseur et al. (1996) observe that harbor seals are opportunistic predators and primarily consume bottom-dwelling and schooling prey. All that said, adult seals eat mollusks, crustaceans, octopus, squid, and a variety of fish such as hake, salmon, herring, perch, and rockfish (Hall, Watkins, and Hamond, 1998 and Fichter, 1990). The diet of the harbor seal tends to vary with food availability and the region and thus seal from different areas is likely to show a significant difference depending on the season and abundance of prey (Fichter, 1990. Payne and Selzer, 1989 and Olesiuk, 1993). Sharples et al. (2012) note that these variations in region and season also largely impacts on foraging behavior and movements as the seals move to obtain their prey.Data on the exact population of seals are hard to come by but various reports agree that the population of seals across the world is declining though the main cause of this decline remains largely unknown (Thompson and Harkonen, 2008). However, there is a possibility that changes within the foraging areas brought by the warming of the climate and industrial activity may be a likely reason.

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