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Harbor Seal Research in Alaska Publications

November 08, 2022

A collection of research publications on harbor seals (Phoca vitulina) conducted in Alaska, including population genetic structure, survey methods, and spatial modeling of haul-out sites.

Comparison of Survey Methods for Estimating Abundance of Harbor Seals in Glacial Fjords (PDF, 8 pages). Bengtson, John L., Alana V. Phillips, Elizabeth A. Mathews and Michael A. Simpkins. Fishery Bulletin 105(3), 2007. The importance of glacial ice habitats to harbor seals in Alaska has become increasingly apparent. However, enumerating harbor seals hauled out on ice in glacial fjords has been difficult. At Johns Hopkins Inlet in Glacier Bay, Alaska, researchers compared a shore-based counting method to a large-format aerial photography method to estimate seal abundance.

Spatial Modeling of Haul-Out Site Use by Harbor Seals in Cook Inlet, Alaska. Montgomery, R.A., J. M. Ver Hoef, and P. L. Boveng. 2007. Harbor seals haul out on land to give birth to and rear their pups, rest, escape aquatic predation and molt. The choice of a haul-out site is therefore fundamental to survival and reproduction. Aerial surveys of harbor seals were conducted in Cook Inlet, Alaska, to investigate the seals’ selection of various environmental characteristics of haul-out sites.

Independent Review of the Analysis of Population Genetic Structure in Alaskan Harbor Seals, Phoca Vitulina, as a Framework for the Identification of Management Stocks. O'Corry-Crowe, Gregory, Karen Martien and Barbara Taylor, Barbara. 2003. The American Institute of Biological Sciences was tasked by the NOAA Fisheries and the Native Harbor Seal Commission Alaska Harbor Seal Comanagement Committee to organize a review of Administrative Report LJ-03-08, O'Corry-Crowe, G.M., K.K. Martien, and B.L. Taylor.

The Analysis of Population Genetic Structure in Alaskan Harbor Seals as a Framework for the Identification of Management Stocks. O’Corry-Crowe, Greg M., Karen K. Martien, and Barbara L. Taylor. Southwest Fisheries Science Center, National Marine Fisheries Service, NOAA. Administrative Report LJ-03-08. 2003. Because of its maternal mode of inheritance and rapid rate of evolution, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is an ideal marker in the investigation of the demographic relationships among groups of animals such as harbor seals. The authors present their findings from an extensive genetic study of population subdivision and dispersal patterns of harbor seals in Alaska using mtDNA.

Macrogeographic Structure and Patterns of Genetic Diversity in Harbor Seals from Alaska to Japan. Westlake, Robin L. and Gregory M. O’Corry-Crowe. 2002. The authors examined sequence variation in the control region of the  mitochondrial genome from seals sampled from northern Japan to southeastern Alaska to learn more about the evolutionary history and population structure of, and effects of recent declines on genetic diversity in, harbor seals in the northern Pacific Ocean.



Last updated by Alaska Regional Office on 11/08/2022

Harbor Seal Research Co-Management