Status Review of the Ribbon Seal (2008)
This document pulls together the best available data on the ribbon seal (Histriophoca fasciata). NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS-AFSC-191.
This document is a compilation of the best available scientific and commercial data, and a description of past, present, and likely future threats to the ribbon seal (Histriophoca fasciata). It was compiled by a NOAA Biological Review Team in response to a petition filed by the Center for Biological Diversity to list the ribbon seal as threatened or endangered under the U.S. Endangered Species Act, primarily due to concern about threats to this species’ habitat from climate warming and loss of sea ice.
In contrast to the Arctic Ocean, where sea ice is present year‐round, the ice in the Bering Sea and Sea of Okhotsk is seasonal in nature. Despite the recent dramatic reductions in Arctic Ocean ice extent during summer, the sea ice in the northern Bering Sea and Sea of Okhotsk is expected to continue forming annually in winter for the foreseeable future. While there may be more frequent years in which ice coverage is reduced, the late March to early May period in which ribbon seal reproduction occurs will continue to have substantial ice, particularly in the northern regions of the breeding range.