Journal Article

Estimated pup production of harp seals <i>Pagophilus groenlandicus</i> in the White Sea, Russia, in 2000

V.A Potelov, A.P Golikov and V.A Bondarev

in ICES Journal of Marine Science

Published on behalf of ICES/CIEM

Volume 60, issue 5, pages 1012-1017
Published in print January 2003 | ISSN: 1054-3139
Published online January 2003 | e-ISSN: 1095-9289 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1054-3139(03)00095-X
Estimated pup production of harp seals Pagophilus groenlandicus in the White Sea, Russia, in 2000

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Since the 1960s pup production of harp seals Pagophilus groenlandicus in the White Sea was estimated from aerial photographic surveys of visible adult females on the ice. Adult abundance estimations were underestimated because an unknown number of females were in the water during the survey. The absence of a reliable estimation of pup production constrained management initiatives. Aerial photographic surveys of whelping harp seals were conducted in the White Sea 10–12 March 2000. Using a systematic strip transect survey design approach, the number of pups present was estimated as 294 914 with a standard error (s.e.) of 36 168. When pups caught by Russian sealers in the White Sea before the aerial surveys (30 729 pups) were included the total estimated number of pups was 325 643 (s.e. 36 168), whereas the number of adult harp seals was 215 943 (s.e. 22 630). The pup estimate was not corrected for pups born after the survey, but this was not considered to be significant. The new estimation of pup production is higher than thought earlier.

Keywords: aerial surveys; pup production; harp seals; White Sea

Journal Article.  3736 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Environmental Science ; Marine and Estuarine Biology

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