Effects of environmental factors on frequency and success rate of 2,546 natural predatory attacks by white sharks, Carcharodon carcharias, on Cape fur seals, Arctocephalus pusillus pusillus, were studied over an 8-year period at Seal Island, South Africa. Attacks occurred primarily during winter months (June-August). Attack frequency increased significantly during northerly winds, during high tides, and within 400 m of the island, but predatory success rate decreased with proximity to the island. Attacks occurred over a depth range of 5-31 m, with significantly more occurring at depths of 26-30 m. Attack frequency and success rate increased significantly at low light levels. These results are compared with published effects of environmental factors on white shark predation frequency at the Farallon Islands, California, and discussed in terms of the Predation Cycle. Suggestions for future work at this site are offered.
- Predation cycle
- Sensory biology
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Aquatic Science