Ice Seal Research
Movements and Habitat Use Studies

May 2021
May 2020

From 1 to 31 May 2021, we received locations for 1 bearded and 2 spotted seals, all of which were located in similar areas to those they used in 2020. During this period, BS19-01-M (red square), an adult bearded seal, hauled out on sea ice east of Barrow Canyon before moving east into the Beaufort Sea. This bearded seal was also located in Barrow Canyon during much of the winter of 2019-2020 before moving east into the Beaufort Sea. Spotted seal SS19-05-M (purple circle) moved along the coast of Russia in the western Bering Sea, generally near Cape Olyutorskiy. During May of 2020, this spotted seal also moved along the Russian coast, generally near Cape Olyutorskiy. Spotted seal SS19-06-M (green circles) moved from the central Bering Sea, west of St. Matthew Island, to remnant sea ice in western Norton Sound. During May of 2020, this spotted seal also hauled out on remnant sea ice in western Norton Sound.

These seals were tagged during the summer and fall of 2019. As expected, the primary tags we epoxied to their backs have since fallen off during the annual molt this spring. The locations we are currently receiving are from the SPOT tags we attached to their flippers. Because SPOT tags are attached to their flippers we only receive locations when the seal has hauled out of the water, either on sea ice or land. Sea ice data are courtesy of the U.S. National Ice Center, dated 31 May 2021 (usicecenter.gov/Products/ArcticData).

Animation of Seal Locations and Sea Ice in 2016

See the locations and watch the movements of bearded seals, ringed seals, and spotted seals equipped with GPS tracking devices in the Bering, Beaufort and Chukchi seas.

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