Ice Seal Research
Movements and Habitat Use Studies

From 1 to 30 April 2021, we received locations for 1 bearded, 1 ringed, and 3 spotted seals. During this period, BS19-01-M (red square), an adult bearded seal, hauled out on sea ice east of Barrow Canyon. This bearded seal was also located in Barrow Canyon during much of the winter of 2019-2020. The ringed seal (RS19-05-M, purple arrow) was located along the southeast coast of the Chukotka Peninsula in the Bering Sea. All three spotted seals (circles) were located in the Bering Sea, generally near the ice edge, and distributed west to east from Cape Olyutorskiy, Russia, to an area between St. Matthew Island and the mainland coast of Alaska.

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 30 April 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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