How Alaskan fur seal pups migrate


This video from the USA says about itself:

13 June 2013

This video footage supplements NOAA‘s Northern Fur Seal K-3 Curriculum Activity 1.4, “Walk and Swim Like a Pinniped”, and shows harbor seals and northern fur seals on land and underwater to compare and contrast movement styles of different species of pinnipeds.

From the American Geophysical Union:

Ocean winds influence seal pup migration

February 13, 2018

Scientists have confirmed what native Alaskans have observed for centuries — maritime winds influence the travel patterns of northern fur seal pups. New research presented at the Ocean Sciences Meeting here today shows strong winds can potentially displace seal pups by hundreds of kilometers during their first winter migration.

Most northern fur seals breed on islands in the Bering Sea during the summer and embark on an eight-month-long journey to the North Pacific Ocean to forage for food in November and December of each year. For unexplained reasons, seal births have been declining there since the late 1970s, prompting increased research into the animals’ behavior. Researchers found many pups die during their initial migration from the Bering Sea to the North Pacific Ocean, but the rate at which this happens varies from year to year — and scientists are unsure why.

New research comparing the movements of individual seal pups during their migration with reconstructions of ocean surface winds shows that as wind speed increases, pups increasingly move downwind and to the right. The preliminary findings suggest surface winds could influence an individual pup’s displacement by hundreds of kilometers during their first winter migration.

It is unclear whether being blown downwind is helpful or harmful to the seal pups, but the results offer a new insight into environmental effects on seal survival, according to the researchers.

“They’re at the whims of what’s happening in the environment of the North Pacific Ocean”, said Noel Pelland, a physical oceanographer and National Research Council postdoctoral associate at NOAA’s Alaska Fisheries Science Center in Seattle, Washington, who will present the new research today at the 2018 Ocean Sciences Meeting, co-sponsored by the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography, The Oceanography Society and the American Geophysical Union.

Northern fur seals are among the most long-studied marine mammals because of their historical importance to the fur trade. They have been a staple food of native Alaskans for thousands of years and have been commercially harvested for their fur since Europeans arrived in Alaska in the 18th and 19th centuries.

In the new research, Pelland and his colleagues analyzed data from more than 150 seal pups equipped with tags that allow satellites to track their movements. The researchers compared the pups’ movements to models of wind speed and intensity in the North Pacific from 1997 to 2015.

They found differences in the prevailing winds aligned with where the pups ended up. During years when strong winds blew from the west, the pups ended up farther east, in the Gulf of Alaska, by about January 1. But in years where winds were weaker and came from the north, the pups ended up farther south, closer to the Aleutian Islands.

The researchers are unsure which scenario is better for pup survival, but the results confirm anecdotal evidence of seal migration behavior observed by native inhabitants of the Aleutian Islands, Pelland said.

In 1892, the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury sent Captain C. L. Hooper to the Aleutian Islands with instructions to gather as much information as he could about northern fur seals from the Aleuts who lived there and hunted them. The Aleuts consistently told Hooper seals always travel with a fair wind and disliked traveling against the wind.

“What’s cool is that with this project, we have this sophisticated technology that allows us this unprecedented look at the lives of individual animals, and what it allows us to do is quantify things that may have been known for millenia, by the people who’ve lived there and experienced this species”, Pelland said.

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Grey seals cuddling


This 16 January 2017 video is about male and female grey seals cuddling after mating on Heligoland island in Germany.

Inge Duijsens made this video.

Seals freed after reconvalescence


This 7 August 2017 video from Ecomare museum on Texel island in the Netherlands is about two common seals, Paula and René, being freed after reconvalescence.

Polar bear attacks seal, video


This video says about itself:

Hungry Polar Bear Ambushes Seal – The Hunt – BBC Earth

30 June 2017

We track a hungry but determined Polar Bear as it seeks to ambush a plump seal. With the odds stacked against it, this scrawny looking bear will need to pull off an amazing manoeuvre if it’s to get a well-earned meal.

Great white shark video


This video says about itself:

Great White Shark Attack And Breach – Planet Earth – BBC Earth

3 May 2017

Epic footage of one of earth’s most feared predators, the Great White Shark. Each dawn, Cape Fur Seals leave their colony to go fishing. To reach the open sea they must cross a narrow strip of water which is patrolled by the largest predatory fish on the planet.

Whales, seals feed on Antarctic krill


This video says about itself:

10 February 2017

Fur seals and whales feast on billions of krill. A chance to see fantastic images of the most abundant whales in the Southern Oceans, Minke Whales, and the awe-inspiring Humpback Whales that also visit the freezing Southern Seas in the summer.

‘EXTREMELY HIGH LEVELS’ OF TOXIC POLLUTANTS FOUND IN DEEPEST PARTS OF WORLD’S OCEANS “The study, published Monday in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution, reportedly provides the first evidence that man-made pollutants have reached the planet’s most far-off areas, according to those behind the research.” [HuffPost]

Gray seals in Maine, USA webcam


This video from Maine in the USA is called Gray Seal Pup’s First Swim.

From eNature in the USA:

Don’t Miss The Gray Seal Pup Webcam

Every winter hundreds of gray seals clamber onto Maine’s Seal Island for an extraordinary mass breeding event.

The 300 lb females have one pup per year, with births peaking in mid January. At birth, pups are in a suit of thick, white fur which they begin molting at about three weeks of age.

The webcam is here.

Using research drones, thermal cameras and free images from Google Earth, two studies confirm that gray seals are making a comeback off the New England and eastern Canadian coasts. The findings help confirm that seal conservation efforts are working, and that these remote eye-in-the sky technologies make it easier and safer for scientists to study migratory wildlife in remote locations and estimate their numbers accurately: here.