Social Behaviour of Harbour Seals, Phoca vitulina, on Haulout Grounds at Miquelon

M. Benjamin Davis and Deane Renouf
Department of Psychology and Ocean Science Centre, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's, NF A I B 3X9
The Canadian Field-Naturalist, Volume 101 (1). 1 -5. 1987
Abstract: A breeding colony of more than 700 harbour seals (Phoca vitulina) on the French island of Miquelon was observed during 1982. Behavioural interactions among different age and sex classes were documented, and the spatial organization of seals on the haulout grounds was assessed photographically. The study revealed a consistent hauling out pattern, and a predictable arrangement of animals on the beach, with a high degree of site tenacity. Our observations are discussed in light of existing theories of the social organization of harbour seals.

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