Ice Seal Research
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In June 2012 we deployed four satellite transmitters on ringed seals near Hooper Bay, Alaska. The longest minimum distance traveled by a seal was 2,455 miles (RS12-01-M), which last transmitted a signal north of 76 degrees latitude in the Beaufort Sea, northwest of Bank Island, on 8 August 2012. One transmitter (RS12-03-M) sent signals as late as 27 October 2012. No signals, however, were received between 11 September and 27 October; therefore we do not know the path this seal traveled from east of Wrangel Island, Russia to Port Clarence, south of Wales, Alaska (about 550 miles). The satellite tags (SPOT tags) attached to these ringed seals were fitted to their hind flippers and tend to return few locations when seals swim through open water for long periods of time.
During the Fall of 2013 we plan to tag seals near Hooper Bay again.
We work with the Ice Seal Committee and local hunters to capture and deploy satellite transmitters on ice seals to
document their habitat use and movements. Such information is important to understand impacts and develop mitigation
measures for activities such as oil and gas and shipping lanes.