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Annual distribution of hooded seals (Cystophora cristata) in the Greenland and Norwegian seas


Nineteen hooded seals (Cystophora cristata) were tagged with satellite-linked platform terminal transmitters (PTT) on the sea ice near Jan Mayen. Fifteen were instrumented after completion of the mouly in July 1992 (five males, ten females, at 71°N, 12°W), and four during breeding in March 1993 (four females, at 69°N, 20°W). Sixteen of the seals were tagged with Satellite-Linked Time-Depth-Recorders (SLTDR), yielding location, dive depth and dive duration data. The average (±SD) longevity of all PTTs was 199±84 days (n=19; range: 43–340 days), and they yielded 12,834 location fixes. Between tagging in July 1992 and pupping in March 1993, two seals remained in or near the ice off the east coast of Greenland for most of the tracking period. However, most of the seals made one or several trips away from the ice edge, mostly to distant waters. These excursions had an average (±SD) duration of 47±22 days (n=46; range: 4–99 days). Eight seals travelled to waters off the Faeroe Islands, three to the continental shelf break south of Bear Island, and three to the Irminger Sea southwest of Iceland. Eleven seals were tracked in the period between breeding (March/April) and moulting (July). Several of these spent extended periods at sea west of the British Isles, or in the Norwegian Sea.

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Folkow, L.P., Mårtensson, PE. & Blix, A.S. Annual distribution of hooded seals (Cystophora cristata) in the Greenland and Norwegian seas. Polar Biol 16, 179–189 (1996).

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  • Continental Shelf
  • British Isle
  • Shelf Break
  • Faeroe Island
  • Duration Data