Ringed seal hauled-out on sea ice in Kotzebue Sound, Alaska.

About The Species

The ringed seal is the smallest and the most common seal in the Arctic. They are solitary animals and when hauled out on ice separate themselves from each other. They are dependent on floating ice in the ocean. Loss of sea ice is a main threat to this species.

Four subspecies of ringed seals are listed as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act and 5 subspecies are listed as depleted under the Marine Mammal Protection Act. Ringed seals, like all marine mammals, are protected under the MMPA.

Learn more about ringed seals

Status

ESA Endangered - Foreign

in 2 subspecies

  • Ladoga subspecies
  • Saimaa subspecies
ESA Threatened - Foreign

in 2 subspecies

  • Baltic subspecies
  • Okhotsk subspecies
MMPA Protected

throughout its range

MMPA Depleted

in 5 subspecies

  • Ladoga subspecies
  • Arctic subspecies
  • Okhotsk subspecies
  • Baltic subspecies
  • Saimaa subspecies

Scientific Classification