Key to assessing the risk of naval activities (such as sound exposure) on marine animals is an understanding of where animals occur and what factors motivate these movements. The rapid advancement of electronic tracking and remote sensing technologies has enabled researchers to link pelagic predator movements and oceanic processes. This information is critical for understanding distribution and residence time of vertebrates within an ocean area and for managing interactions with anthropogenic activities. Marine predators interact with a dynamic ocean that change on time scales ranging from minutes to millennia. Knowledge of these movement interactions is incomplete but critical to understanding dynamic distributions, managing anthropogenic disturbance, and predicting responses to climate change. This project utilizes the largest database of existing marine vertebrate tracking and behavior data to build upon the significant advances in tag technology, data analyses and management accomplished under the Tagging of Pacific Predators (TOPP) program. This is accomplished by establishing a behavioral baseline to assess the potential costs of displacement in terms of reduced foraging success. The project also involves a synthesis of electronic tracking and remote sensing data, focusing on a cross-taxa examination of marine predator distribution and movement patterns to identify hotspots, foraging patterns and movement corridors in the California Current.
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