Behavior and distribution of Phoca vitulina and Eumatopias jubatus in the San Juan Archipelago
Kovac, Anna Maria
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Changes in tidal patterns affect the prey composition of the two most common pinnipeds in the San Juan Channel, the harbor seal (Phoca vitulina) and Steller sea lion (Eumatopias jubatus).Tidal influences are therefore likely to affect the distribution, abundance and behavior of these pinnipeds. This study sought to determine the relationship between the frequency, distribution and behavior of harbor seals and sea lions with tidal phase and discuss the differences between the two species. While harbor seals showed greater variations in all three categories and distribution trends in sea lions were harder to distinguish, results support the idea that both species are affected by changes in tidal currents.