Dear Colleagues,

We are pleased to announce the recent publication of the following artical
in Behavioral Ecology:

Thometz N.M., Staedler M.M., Tomoleoni J.A., Bodkin J., Bentall G., Tinker
M.T. (2016) “Trade-offs between energy maximization and parental care in a
central place forager, the sea otter (*Enhydra lutris*)”. Behavioral
Ecology 27(5): 1552-1566.

*Abstract*:  Between 1999 and 2014, 126 archival time-depth recorders
(TDRs) were used to examine the foraging behavior of southern sea
otters (*Enhydra
lutris nereis*) off the coast of California, in both resource-abundant
(recently occupied, low sea otter density) and resource-limited
(long-occupied, high sea otter density) locations. Following predictions of
foraging theory, sea otters generally behaved as energy rate maximizers.
Males and females without pups employed similar foraging strategies to
optimize rates of energy intake in resource-limited habitats, with some
exceptions. Both groups increased overall foraging effort and made deeper,
longer and more energetically costly dives as resources became limited, but
males were more likely than females without pups to utilize extreme dive
profiles. In contrast, females caring for young pups (≤10 weeks)
prioritized parental care over energy optimization. The relative importance
of parental care versus energy optimization for adult females with pups
appeared to reflect developmental changes as dependent young matured.
Indeed, contrary to females during the initial stages of lactation, females
with large pups approaching weaning once again prioritized optimizing
energy intake. The increasing prioritization of energy optimization over
the course of lactation was possible due to the physiological development
of pups and likely driven by the energetic deficit incurred by females
early in lactation. Our results suggest that regardless of resource
availability, females at the end of lactation approach a species-specific
ceiling for percent time foraging and that reproductive females in the
central portion of the current southern sea otter range are
disproportionately affected by resource limitation.

Please direct all inquiries to


Nicole M. Thometz, PhD
Postdoctoral Scholar
Institute of Marine Sciences
University of California Santa Cruz
Long Marine Lab - Center for Ocean Health
100 Shaffer Road, Santa Cruz CA 95060
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