Forsøksdyr: Space use by marine mammals in Svalbard and potential dietary changes due to climate change- continued (copy)

Godkjenningsdato 06.03.2020

Godkjenningsperiode 01.06.2020-31.05.2022

In this project we will instrument various marine mammals in Svalbard with satellite transmitters to study their general space use and movement patterns. Tissue will also be collected from these animals to study their diets and potential changes in these from previous published data due to climate change. Satellite tags will be deployed on blue whales (N=20), fin whales (N=20), humpback whales (N=20), bowhead whales (N=20), sperm whales (N=10), narwhals (N=20), bearded seals (N=20), ringed seals (N=20), harbour seals (N=20) in a standard fashion which for these species means deployed on distance with an airgun for the whales and glued to the fur for the seals. From these animals skin and blubber plugs will be collected with a crossbow with a dart with a small special biopsy tool at the end for the whales and with a corer from the seals. Blood samples will be collected from the seals. These data will give us a unique insight into how these various species share the marine habitat in Svalbard and how space use and influx of new prey species due to influx of warmer Atlantic water may have effected these top predators.
Based on previous experience we expect no negative effects of these tagging and sampling regimes. The various tags are very small compared to the size of the animals that will carry them and the number of animals involved should preferable have been higher, but are restricted due to high cost of tags