Table of Contents: The TOPP Collection


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This collection of papers highlights research performed under the auspices of the Tagging of Pacific Predators (TOPP) program, a component of the Census of Marine Life (CoML). TOPP is a multi-institutional, multi-year large-scale biologging program that has deployed nearly 4300 tags on 23 marine species throughout the Pacific Ocean in a series of studies providing essential input into the effective management of marine ecosystems and conservation of top predator populations (

Biologging technology allows researchers to take measurements from free-swimming marine animals as they move undisturbed through their environment. Recent advances in biologging technology, including electronic tag miniaturization and improved animal movement models, have revolutionized our understanding of the ecology of marine top predators and have permitted observations well beyond the reach of standard measurement techniques. As a result, biologging observations are used for basic ecological research, controlled experimental studies, physiological studies, and oceanographic observations of the in situ environment surrounding the animal. Long-term biologging observations are also used to understand the influence of climate variations, and to predict the potential impacts of climate change, on top predator movements.

Articles are presented in order of publication date and new TOPP articles will be added to the collection as they are published.

Image Credit: Illustration by Kate Spencer

Research Articles

Foraging Behavior and Success of a Mesopelagic Predator in the Northeast Pacific Ocean: Insights from a Data-Rich Species, the Northern Elephant Seal

Patrick W. Robinson, Daniel P. Costa, Daniel E. Crocker, Juan Pablo Gallo-Reynoso, Cory D. Champagne, Melinda A. Fowler, Chandra Goetsch, Kimberly T. Goetz, Jason L. Hassrick, Luis A. Hückstädt, Carey E. Kuhn, Jennifer L. Maresh, Sara M. Maxwell, Birgitte I. McDonald, Sarah H. Peterson, Samantha E. Simmons, Nicole M. Teutschel, Stella Villegas-Amtmann, Ken Yoda

Shearwater Foraging in the Southern Ocean: The Roles of Prey Availability and Winds

Ben Raymond, Scott A. Shaffer, Serguei Sokolov, Eric J. Woehler, Daniel P. Costa, Luke Einoder, Mark Hindell, Graham Hosie, Matt Pinkerton, Paul M. Sagar, Darren Scott, Adam Smith, David R. Thompson, Caitlin Vertigan, Henri Weimerskirch

Accuracy of ARGOS Locations of Pinnipeds at-Sea Estimated Using Fastloc GPS

Daniel P. Costa, Patrick W. Robinson, John P. Y. Arnould, Autumn-Lynn Harrison, Samantha E. Simmons, Jason L. Hassrick, Andrew J. Hoskins, Stephen P. Kirkman, Herman Oosthuizen, Stella Villegas-Amtmann, Daniel E. Crocker

Seasonal Movements, Aggregations and Diving Behavior of Atlantic Bluefin Tuna (Thunnus thynnus) Revealed with Archival Tags

Andreas Walli, Steven L. H. Teo, Andre Boustany, Charles J. Farwell, Tom Williams, Heidi Dewar, Eric Prince, Barbara A. Block

A Parsimonious Approach to Modeling Animal Movement Data

Yann Tremblay, Patrick W. Robinson, Daniel P. Costa

Wind, Waves, and Wing Loading: Morphological Specialization May Limit Range Expansion of Endangered Albatrosses

Robert M. Suryan, David J. Anderson, Scott A. Shaffer, Daniel D. Roby, Yann Tremblay, Daniel P. Costa, Paul R. Sievert, Fumio Sato, Kiyoaki Ozaki, Gregory R. Balogh, Noboru Nakamura

Persistent Leatherback Turtle Migrations Present Opportunities for Conservation

George L Shillinger, Daniel M Palacios, Helen Bailey, Steven J Bograd, Alan M Swithenbank, Philippe Gaspar, Bryan P Wallace, James R Spotila, Frank V Paladino, Rotney Piedra, Scott A Eckert, Barbara A Block

Small-Scale Fisheries Bycatch Jeopardizes Endangered Pacific Loggerhead Turtles

S. Hoyt Peckham, David Maldonado Diaz, Andreas Walli, Georgita Ruiz, Larry B. Crowder, Wallace J. Nichols