Harbor Seal Henselder Average ratng: 3,2/5 3864 votes

The harbor seal is the only pinniped that breeds along Puget Sound. Pinnipeds spend part of their lives in the water but depend on land to give birth and raise young. The term 'pinniped' comes from the Latin word 'pinna' meaning winged and 'ped' meaning foot. Harbor Seals live in coastal areas many of which are heavily fished and this results in entanglement and bycatch issues (see Desportes et al. 2010) Overfishing and environmental variability (including global climate change) may also impact Harbor Seal prey populations. The harbor (or harbour) seal (Phoca vitulina), also known as the common seal, is a true seal found along temperate and Arctic marine coastlines of the Northern Hemisphere. The Harbor Seal is fairly small when it is compared to the many other species of seals out there. They vary significantly in color and can be dark brown, tan, or various shades of gray. The nostrils on them are a V shape which is a characteristic you won’t find with any other species of seal out there.

Subspecies P. Vitulina concolor (, 1842) P. Good korean keyboard stickers with black lettering on transparent. Vitulina mellonae (, 1942) P.

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Vitulina richardsi (Gray, 1864) P. Vitulina stejnegeri (, 1902) P. Vitulina vitulina, 1758 Range of Phoca vitulina The harbor (or harbour) seal ( Phoca vitulina), also known as the common seal, is a found along temperate and Arctic marine coastlines of the.

The most widely distributed species of (walruses, eared seals, and true seals), they are found in coastal waters of the northern and and the. Harbor seals are brown, silvery white, tan, or gray, with distinctive V-shaped nostrils. An adult can attain a length of 1.85 m (6.1 ft) and a mass of 132 kg (290 lb). Under the seal's skin helps to maintain body temperature.

Females outlive males (30–35 years versus 20–25 years). Harbor seals stick to familiar resting spots or haulout sites, generally rocky areas (although ice, sand, and mud may also be used) where they are protected from adverse weather conditions and predation, near a foraging area. Males may fight over mates under water and on land. Females bear a single pup after a nine-month gestation, which they care for alone. Pups can weigh up to 16 kg (35 lb) and are able to swim and dive within hours of birth. They develop quickly on their mothers' fat-rich milk, and are weaned after four to six weeks. The global population of harbor seals is 350,000–500,000, but subspecies in certain habitats are threatened.

Once a common practice, is now illegal in many nations within the animal's range. Harbor seal swimming Individual harbor seals possess a unique pattern of spots, either dark on a light background or light on a dark. They vary in color from brownish black to tan or grey; underparts are generally lighter.

The body and flippers are short, heads are rounded. Nostrils appear distinctively V-shaped. As with other true seals, there is no (ear flap).

An ear canal may be visible behind the eye. Including the head and flippers, they may reach an adult length of 1.85 meters (6.1 ft) and a weight of 55 to 168 kg (120 to 370 lb). Females are generally smaller than males. Population [ ] There are an estimated 350,000–500,000 harbor seals worldwide. While the population is not threatened as a whole, the, and populations are exceptions. Local populations have been reduced or eliminated through disease (especially the ) and conflict with, both unintentionally and intentionally.


Killing seals perceived to threaten is legal in the,, and, but commercial hunting is illegal. Seals are also taken in subsistence hunting and accidentally as (mainly in bottomset nets).

Along the Norwegian coast, bycatch accounted for 48% of pup mortality. Seals in the United Kingdom are protected by the 1970 Conservation of Seals Act, which prohibits most forms of killing. In the, the prohibits the killing of any and most local ordinances, as well as NOAA, instruct citizens to leave them alone unless serious danger to the seal exists. Subspecies [ ].

Harbor seal in The five subspecies of Phoca vitulina are: • Western Atlantic common seals, P. Concolor (, 1842), inhabit eastern North America. The validity of this subspecies is questionable, and not supported by genetic evidence.


• Ungava seals, P. Mellonae (, 1942), are found in eastern Canada in fresh water (included in P. Concolor by many authors [ ]). • Pacific common seals, P. Richardsi (Gray, 1864), are located in western North America. • Insular seals, Phoca vitulina stejnegeri (, 1902), are in eastern Asia.

• Eastern Atlantic common seals, P. Vitulina (, 1758), from Europe and western Asia. Habitat and diet [ ].

Harbor seal skull and jaws Harbor seals prefer to frequent familiar resting sites. They may spend several days at sea and travel up to 50 km in search of feeding grounds, and will also swim 100+ miles upstream into fresh water in large. [ ] Resting sites may be both rugged, rocky coasts, such as those of the or the shorelines of, or sandy beaches.

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