Ringed Seal Research Results 2013 Tagging

Results from the Summer of 2013:

Between July and September of 2013, three ringed seals were netted and outfitted with satellite tracking tags. In addition to location data, these tags also record information about diving behavior, and water temperature. One tag failed after three days. However, we collected a substantial amount of data from the other two tagged seals.

Jordan Kippi assisting with seal

Satellite tag glued on head of seal

Satellite tag attached to flipper webbing of seal

Analysis of satellite data collected from 2011-2013 has offered some interesting information about ringed seals. Most dives were less than 250 feet deep and about 7 minutes long. Dive depth and duration changed with the time of year. The deepest dives, up to 1500 feet deep, occurred from August to October and were over 22 minutes long! During the open water season, ringed seals travelled north to the pack-ice edge over the Arctic Basin where they spent time hauled-out and foraging. Data from 2011-12 showed that ringed seals tagged near Barrow in summer travelled south through the Bering Strait for the winter. However, in 2013 one tagged seal wintered near Wrangell Island in Russia.

Map of two ringed seals tagged near Barrow in 2013, with travel routes (lines) and haul-out locations (dots)

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