Erin D'Agnese is a Western Washington University graduate student, and has been interning with Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) Marine Mammal Investigations since 2011. She is collaborating with WDFW biologists on her Master's project to study pup rearing success of female harbor seals at a longterm study site in south Puget Sound. Her research will study how the success of known females relates to age, body mass, pupping experience and pup care behaviors of the mother. Study results may lead to a better understanding of the unique reproductive strategy used by harbor seals and enhance the use of a non-invasive measuring technique on protected marine mammals.
Erin will be using the WDFW SealCam to aid her in this research and will be posting periodic notes from the field on her project and what she is observing at the harbor seal haulout. Check out the blog today!