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The Outcome of Northern Fur Seal Harvesting: The Results of Calibration of Mathematical Models Based on Observation Data (the Example of Tyulenii Island Population)

Frisman, E. Ya., Zhdanova, O. L., Kuzin, A. E.
Russian journal of ecology 2019 v.50 no.2 pp. 161-171
Callorhinus ursinus, bulls, females, harvesting, mathematical models, pups, reproduction
Tendencies in the dynamics of harvested northern fur seal (Callorhinus ursinus) population on the Tyulenii Island have been analyzed in detail. The results show that retardation of reproduction (decrease in the numbers of pups) and decline in the survival of young females (up to 3 years of age) by the late 1980s resulted in a reduction of the total number of females and a significant increase in the proportion of older females. This tendency changed during the later observation period (after 1988–1989) due to increase in the survival of young females: the female population has gradually recovered, with the proportion of young females increasing at the expense of old females (aged over 10 years). The age composition of males has also changed: the proportion of young animals has decreased, while that of large mature males (bulls) has increased. Moreover, the number of bulls continues to increase and has already exceeded the level that formerly provided for the well-being of the population. This, a paradoxical situation has arisen: the numbers of females and bulls are increasing, whereas pup production remains at a low level.