Creature Feature – Ringed Seal
This week on Creature Feature Friday we take a look at the Ringed Seal.
The ringed seal is a small earless seal with a distinctive patterning of dark spots surrounded by grey rings, hence it’s name. It is the most abundant and wide-ranging ice seal in the Northern Hemisphere, and an important component in the food chain.
Scientific Name: Pusa hispada
Ringed Seal Fact File
Size: Individuals rarely measure longer than 1.5m and weigh up to 140kg
Distribution: Ringed seals occur throughout the Arctic Ocean. They can be found in the Baltic Sea, the Bering Sea and the Hudson Bay. They prefer to rest on ice floe and will move farther north for denser ice. However, two sub-species can be found in freshwater
Diet: Their diet is comprised mainly off Arctic cod and planktonic crustaceans
Behaviour: Ringed seals live about 25 to 30 years and are solitary animals. They are an important link in the food chain,, separating primary producers from primary predators and acting as an important food source for polar bears
IUCN Status: Least Concern. The biggest threat to ringed seals is the changing temperature in the Arctic. Declines in snowpack and sea ice due to warming ocean and atmospheric temperatures will make survival harder for this species in the long-term