Large increases of harp seals (Phoca groenlandica) ...



Title Large increases of harp seals (Phoca groenlandica) and hooded seals (Cystophora cristata) on Sable Island, Nova Scotia, since 1995
Author(s) Z. Lucas, Pierre Y. Daoust
Journal Polar Biology
Date 2002
Volume 25
Issue 8
Start page 562
End page 568
Abstract Beach surveys for harp (Phoca groenlandica) and hooded (Cystophora cristata) seals documented a dramatic increase in their numbers on Sable Island in the mid-1990s. From late 1994 to 1998, 1,191 harp and 870 hooded seals, mostly young animals, were recorded on the island whereas, in the 1980s, no more than 5 animals of both species were observed each year. Of the 2,061 harp and hooded seals examined, 41.7% were found alive, 26.7% were killed by sharks, and 31.6% were found dead but intact. This increase in numbers of harp and hooded seals on Sable Island, which is south of their historic northern range, is consistent with the recent increase of extralimital occurrences of these species along the east coast of North America. However, the large number of seals recorded in this study provides more information on their demography than has previously been possible.

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