Scientific Evaluation of the Distinctness of Harbor Seals (Phoca vitulina) in Iliamna Lake

February 01, 2016

Review of relevant background information about harbor seal biology and scientific and local traditional knowledge specific to harbor seals in Iliamna Lake and nearby marine areas

To assist in determining whether harbor seals in Iliamna Lake constitute a species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), NOAA Fisheries convened a biological review team (BRT) to evaluate the scientific evidence for discreteness and significance of this group of seals. The BRT was composed of six marine mammal biologists, including one with expertise in marine mammal genetics.The BRT reviewed relevant background information about harbor seal biology and scientific and local traditional knowledge specific to harbor seals in Iliamna Lake and nearby marine areas. A structured approach was used to score the BRT members' judgment about the discreteness and significance of harbor seals in the lake. This is a report to the NOAA Fisheries Alaska Region in support of its DPS determination for harbor seals Iliamna Lake, Alaska.

Last updated by Alaska Regional Office on 07/31/2018

Harbor Seal Research