Advertising Console

    Arctic Sea Ice Decline Strands More Baby Seals

    Repost
    Geo Beats

    by Geo Beats

    3.2K
    173 views
    A new study from researchers at Duke University shows that melting ice in the North Atlantic has led to an increase in harp seal pups getting stranded.

    A new study from researchers at Duke University shows that melting ice in the North Atlantic has led to an increase in harp seal pups getting stranded.
    Most of the seals that get stranded are young, and 62 percent are male according to Brianne Soulen, a study co-author and biologist at the University of North Texas, who worked on the research as a graduate student at Duke University.

    Sea ice coverage during the mating and birthing season for harp seals has declined by 8 percent over the past thirty years according to a researcher from the University of Washington.

    Around 31 hundred seals were reportedly stranded on the East Coast of the United States from 1991 to 2010.

    David Johnston, a research scientist at Duke's Nicholas School of the Environment said: “Stranding rates for the region's adult seals have generally not gone up as sea ice cover has declined; it's the young-of-the-year animals who are stranding.”

    The study concluded the gene pool was not a factor as healthy seal pups were just as likely to be stranded as those with a lower genetic diversity due to inbreeding.