For the first time, satellite tagging of spotted seals (Phoca largha) has been performed in three regions of the Sea of Okhotsk: Chkalov Island in Sakhalin Bay, Ptichy Island, and the Bolshaya River mouth on the western coast of Kamchatka. As a result, regions inhabited by the seals in different periods of their life cycle and differences in the pattern of water area use by animals from different regions have been revealed. The seals from the western Kamchatka coast have covered greater distances during the observation period, compared to the animals from Sakhalin Bay. In the reproductive period, the seals from the western coast spread over the entire northern part of the Sea of Okhotsk, whereas the animals from the Sakhalin Bay move only to the Tatar Strait, the Sea of Japan. None of tagged seals has been located in the “reproductive center” at the eastern coast of Sakhalin. The seals tagged in different regions of the Sea of Okhotsk have never been located in the same place during the entire annual cycle, suggesting that the sea is inhabited by two reproductively isolated groups of ringed seals.
Russian Journal of Ecology – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 20, 2016
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