hauling out

Hauling-out

Hauling-out is the behaviour, especially associated with seals, of temporarily leaving the water between periods of foraging activity for sites on land or ice. Hauling-out is necessary in seals for mating and giving birth, but not all haul-out sites are for reproduction. Other benefits of hauling-out may include predator avoidance, thermal regulation, social activity, parasite reduction and rest. There is much variety in haul-out patterns between different seal species. Haul-out sites may be segregated by age and sex within the same species. Australian Fur Seals breed on only nine islands in Bass Strait but also occupy up to 50 haul-out sites in south-east Australian waters.

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