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Latest Pinniped Stories

2009-03-20 20:00:00

OTTAWA, March 20 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Canada's Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) has released this year's total allowable catch (TAC) for harp seals despite a lack of demand worldwide for seal fur. Experts with IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare - www.ifaw.org) are appalled that the Canadian government is persisting with the commercial seal hunt in spite of dwindling international markets. "This quota is outrageous," said Sheryl Fink, a senior researcher with IFAW....

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2008-12-03 13:40:00

Scientists say harbor seals (common seals) are vanishing along coastlines across the northern hemisphere at an alarming rate. Researchers from St Andrews University say numbers have halved in the hardest hit area, the Orkney Islands, since 2001 - falling almost 10% each year. Professor Ian Boyd of the Sea Mammal Research Unit said there would soon be no harbor seals left in some areas if the mysterious decline continues. Marine biologists currently have no explanation for the disappearances...

2008-10-07 18:00:18

A BAN on hunting the Caspian seal is needed to halt massive declines in numbers of the endangered mammal, scientists urged today. The population has plummeted from more than a million at the start of the 20th century to about 100,000 today, as a result of commercial hunting, pollution, disease and drowning in fishing nets. Researchers from the University of Leeds said recent surveys showed that in 2006 there were just 17,000 breeding females - barely enough to maintain a viable...

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2008-10-06 15:38:44

One of the smallest seals "“ the Caspian - has joined a growing list of mammal species in danger of extinction. Scientists from the University of Leeds together with international partners have documented the disastrous decline of the seal - a species found only in the land-locked waters of the Caspian Sea "“ in a series of surveys which reveal a 90 per cent drop in numbers in the last 100 years. The research findings have prompted the International Union for Conservation of...

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2008-08-12 09:15:00

Scientists have been frustrated for years when trying to study the ocean around Antarctica in winter. The bitter cold, floating sea ice, and whipping winds in the Southern Ocean make collecting data a difficult task. Scientists now have a solution: use seals. Researchers led by Jean-Benoit Charrassin of the National Museum of Natural History in Paris recruited help from residents in the Antarctic. Electronic data-collecting equipment was glued to 58 elephant seals in the region.  The...

2008-08-02 15:00:12

By Donita Naylor CHARLESTOWN -- Westerly Hospital nurse manager Nancy Clarke got the honor of opening the crate to release SYPg0809. The young male harp seal -- identified by his stranding code to remind that he is a wild animal, not an adorable, soulful, inquisitive, little lost baby -- was released from a carrier between two lines of onlookers at Blue Shutters Beach just after 8 yesterday morning. For Clarke, the release was bittersweet. She was part of a Westerly Hospital team that...

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2008-07-24 08:50:00

On Wednesday the European Commission approved plans to ban the import of seal pelts that have undergone extreme suffering when being killed.  The ban may cause trade conflicts with hunting countries. While the EU stopped just short of a total ban, the governing body stated that products from the 900,000 seals hunted annually should be received in the EU only with assurance that the seal has been killed through humane means. European environmentalists and politicians have demanded action...

2008-06-25 15:02:34

BELLINGHAM, WASH._ Repeat after me: Wild baby seals should not be "rescued" off some beach and taken to your home. Not even when they look so cute they give you a big case of the "aaaaawwwws." Not even if you see them lying on a beach with their mothers nowhere in sight and you're convinced those adorable blobs of helplessness need rescuing. Not even after you look at this photo and think: "Is there anything in the world cuter than a baby seal and a wiener dog living in harmony?" Resist...

2008-06-18 18:00:19

A federal appeals court has refused to order the city of San Diego to protect seals who have moved onto a popular beach. Children's Pool Beach has become a flash point for those who favor seals and those who put a higher value on human access. A sea wall keeps surf out of the cove, but seal feces have kept bacteria levels so high that swimming has not been possible. The Animal Protection and Rescue League wanted the city to place a rope barrier around the seals while they are giving...

2008-05-13 11:43:57

A seal has been caught on camera trying to have sex with a penguin. This seems to be the first known example of a sexual escapade between a mammal and another kind of vertebrate such as a bird, reptile or fish, "although some mammals are known to have attempted sexual relief with inanimate - including dead things - objects," said researcher Nico de Bruyn, a mammal ecologist at the University of Pretoria in South Africa. One summer morning, scientists observing elephant seals...


Latest Pinniped Reference Libraries

Japanese Sea Lion, Zalophus japonicas
2013-06-22 16:34:14

The Japanese sea lion (Zalophus japonicas) is in extinct species that could once be found in the Sea of Japan. The biggest populations occurred around the Korean peninsula and the Japanese Archipelago. In these areas, both sea lions and seals have influenced the names of some coastal areas, like Inubosaki or “dog-barking point.” It was formally classified as a distinct species in 2003 due to a difference in behaviors and range, but was previously known as a subspecies of the California...

Japanese Sea Lion, Zalophus japonicas
2013-06-10 11:01:20

The Japanese sea lion (Zalophus japonicas) is in extinct species that could once be found in the Sea of Japan. The biggest populations occurred around the Korean peninsula and the Japanese Archipelago. In these areas, both sea lions and seals have influenced the names of some coastal areas, like Inubosaki or “dog-barking point.” It was formally classified as a distinct species in 2003 due to a difference in behaviors and range, but was previously known as a subspecies of the California...

Harp Seal
2013-05-01 15:08:34

The harp seal (Pagophilus groenlandicus), also known as the saddleback seal, is a true seal in the Phocidae family. It is native to northern areas of the Atlantic Ocean and to some areas of the Arctic Ocean. Its scientific name means "ice-lover from Greenland,” and it was previously classified within Phoca genus, although studies have shown that it is unique enough to be in a distinct genus. It holds two recognized subspecies, P. groenlandicus groenlandicus and P. groenlandicus oceanicus....

Ringed Seal
2013-05-01 12:51:20

The ringed seal (Pusa hispida), also known as the jar seal, is a true seal in the Phocidae family. Locally, it is known as nattiq or netsik in the Inuit language. It can be found in Arctic and sub-Arctic regions, with a range that includes the Bering and Oshtok Seas, the Arctic Ocean, and the coastlines of Japan in the north Pacific. It also occurs in the North Atlantic on the coastlines of Scandinavia, Greenland, and Newfoundland.  Within its range, the ringed seal prefers areas with ice...

Caspian Seal
2013-04-30 14:10:47

The Caspian seal (Pusa caspica) is one of the smallest species in the true seal family that is native only to the Caspian Sea.  It can be seen on shorelines, rocky islands, and ice blocks that occur throughout the sea. In warmer months, these seals will inhabit northern areas of this range, but in colder months, they inhabit cooler waters and the mouths of the Ural and Volga rivers. It is thought that these seals only occur in the Caspian Sea because they moved there during the Quaternary...

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Word of the Day
vermicular
  • Like a worm in form or movement; vermiform; tortuous or sinuous; also, writhing or wriggling.
  • Like the track or trace of a worm; appearing as if worm-eaten; vermiculate.
  • Marked with fine, close-set, wavy or tortuous lines of color; vermiculated.
  • A form of rusticated masonry which is so wrought as to appear thickly indented with worm-tracks.
This word ultimately comes from the Latin 'vermis,' worm.
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