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dc.contributor.authorWright, Brianna M.  Concept link
dc.contributor.authorFord, John K. B.  Concept link
dc.contributor.authorEllis, Graeme M.  Concept link
dc.contributor.authorDeecke, Volker  Concept link
dc.contributor.authorShapiro, Ari D.  Concept link
dc.contributor.authorBattaile, Brian C.  Concept link
dc.contributor.authorTrites, Andrew W.  Concept link
dc.identifier.citationMovement Ecology 5 (2017): 3en_US
dc.description© The Author(s), 2017. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. The definitive version was published in Movement Ecology 5 (2017): 3, doi:10.1186/s40462-017-0094-0.en_US
dc.description.abstractWe sought to quantitatively describe the fine-scale foraging behavior of northern resident killer whales (Orcinus orca), a population of fish-eating killer whales that feeds almost exclusively on Pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.). To reconstruct the underwater movements of these specialist predators, we deployed 34 biologging Dtags on 32 individuals and collected high-resolution, three-dimensional accelerometry and acoustic data. We used the resulting dive paths to compare killer whale foraging behavior to the distributions of different salmonid prey species. Understanding the foraging movements of these threatened predators is important from a conservation standpoint, since prey availability has been identified as a limiting factor in their population dynamics and recovery. Three-dimensional dive tracks indicated that foraging (N = 701) and non-foraging dives (N = 10,618) were kinematically distinct (Wilks’ lambda: λ 16 = 0.321, P < 0.001). While foraging, killer whales dove deeper, remained submerged longer, swam faster, increased their dive path tortuosity, and rolled their bodies to a greater extent than during other activities. Maximum foraging dive depths reflected the deeper vertical distribution of Chinook (compared to other salmonids) and the tendency of Pacific salmon to evade predators by diving steeply. Kinematic characteristics of prey pursuit by resident killer whales also revealed several other escape strategies employed by salmon attempting to avoid predation, including increased swimming speeds and evasive maneuvering. High-resolution dive tracks reconstructed using data collected by multi-sensor accelerometer tags found that movements by resident killer whales relate significantly to the vertical distributions and escape responses of their primary prey, Pacific salmon.en_US
dc.description.sponsorshipThis work was supported by the Species at Risk Program, Fisheries and Oceans Canada; the University of Cumbria’s Research and Scholarship Development Fund; a Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship (IEF) to VD; a University of British Columbia Zoology Graduate Fellowship to BW; and a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarship to BW.en_US
dc.publisherBioMed Centralen_US
dc.rightsAttribution 4.0 International*
dc.subjectDiving behavioren_US
dc.subjectKiller whaleen_US
dc.subjectOrcinus orcaen_US
dc.subjectPacific salmonen_US
dc.titleFine-scale foraging movements by fish-eating killer whales (Orcinus orca) relate to the vertical distributions and escape responses of salmonid prey (Oncorhynchus spp.)en_US

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Attribution 4.0 International
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as Attribution 4.0 International