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Behavior of Territorial Male Sea Otters (Enhydra lutris) in Prince William Sound, Alaska
Abstract: Photo-identification and focal animal sampling were used to examine the daytime behavior of territorial male sea otters (Enhydra lutris) in Simpson Bay, Prince William Sound, Alaska, during the summer (June to August) of 2003. The average number of otters (all age classes of males and females) in the study area was 121 ± 12.1 SD (n = 5 surveys). The bout duration of six behaviors (resting, grooming, foraging, interacting with other otters, swimming at the surface, and patrolling), activity time budgets, and interactions with females were determined for territorial males. Ten males were observed during 183 focal follows (i.e., observation periods), representing 92 h of observation. More time was spent foraging (30%) than on any other activity, and foraging bouts were longer than all other activities. Males interacted with females with pups (59%) and with single females (41%). Two of three consortships (i.e., mating associations lasting ca. three days) were formed with single females. Sixty-seven percent of interactions between territorial males were aggressive and were longer than one min.
Key Words: SEA OTTER; ENHYDRA LUTRIS; BEHAVIOR; TERRITORY; PHOTO-IDENTIFICATION; ACTIVITY TIME BUDGET; ALASKA
Document Type: Research article
Page Numbers: 226 – 233