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Federico Riet Sapriza

Doctor of Philosophy, (Zoology)
Study Completed: 2008
College of Sciences


Thesis Title
Milk Composition of the New Zealand sea lion and factors that influence it

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

Mr Sapriza investigated the effect of temporal (year, month, period of nursing and foraging), maternal (age, body condition, body weight and length) and offspring (sex and age) factors on the milk composition of the New Zealand sea lion. Data were collected from lactating sea lions in the Auckland Islands over seven years. Results showed that the quality of milk produced by NZ sea lions is highly variable between years and is strongly influenced by maternal body condition and experience. Moreover, the fatty acid composition of the milk fat also varied between years. This, together with demonstrating that dietary fatty acids are incorporated into the milk fat, unchanged, suggest that variation in the milk fat’s fatty composition reflects similar dietary variation. These results have implications for the conservation and management of the NZ sea lion population.

Professor Nicolas Lopez-Villalobos
Professor Brian Springett
Associate Professor Duncan MacKenzie
Dr Padraig Duignan
Professor Louise Chilvers
Dr L Chilvers
Dr Alastair MacGibbon