Biology of the Ringed Seal (Phoca hispida) in Alaska 1960-2010 (2011)
Final Report to the National Marine Fisheries Service by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Arctic Marine Mammal Program
In Alaska, the ringed seal is one of four species of seals that are associated with sea ice during some portion of the year. The other ice-associated species are the bearded seal, the spotted seas, and the ribbon seal. Ringed seals have the widest distribution, which includes the Bering, Chukchi, and Beaufort seas near Alaska, but they are also found throughout the Arctic, including Canada, Greenland, Svalbard, and Russia, and in freshwater lakes in Europe. Ringed seals feed on a variety of fish and invertebrates in the water column. They are the most ice adapted of the arctic phocids and maintain breathing holes and subnivean lairs in shorefast ice where the adults breed and pups are born in March and April.