When an adult Harp Seal reaches puberty, which is between 5 and 7 years, their lifespan will continue for approximately 30 years in the wild. Through their summer residence in the Arctic, harp seals reach as far north as Jones and Lancaster Sounds in the Canadian Arctic and Thule in northwestern Greenland. The longest haul-outs are the one during the breeding season and the other at molting time. They are born with white fur, but this darkens in adulthood, and they develop irregular black patches on their backs. During the winter, the adult harp seals gather in specific areas where they give birth to their pups see Distribution and numbers. Lawrence after nursing her pup, she will feed on a variety of fish and sea creatures.
Canadian fisheries are calling for several million of these seals to be killed. Galapagos Marine Iguana. Gestation: days, but twelve months in total because of delayed implantation. The prey of these scull will most often be capelin in southwest Greenland and polar cod in northwest Greenland. Eventually, hunger motivates the pups to enter the water and start feeding on their own. Pregnant cows and juveniles reach the breeding grounds in early February, and each cow picks a sheltered spot on the ice for the birth.
Printable Factsheet: Seal (Harp) | Young People's Trust For the Environment
Photo: Aqqalu Rosing-Asvig. Lightbox Login Lightbox register Forgot your password? The only dangers in which the Harp Seal fears are that of humans, polar bears, killer whales, sharks and occasionally, the walrus. Harp seals exhibit polygynous mating systems. At 13—14 months of age the seals molt again, and their spotted pelt remains. To reach these northern waters, harp seals must swim more than 3 kilometres. Numbers shrank to around three million, because pups were killed in vast numbers by fishermen and hunters, who claimed that the seals were depleting fish stocks.
Polar bears Ursus maritimus , killer whales Orcinus orca , and large sharks are the natural predators of harp seals. Harp seal mothers are able to identify their babies by their smell. The pups go without food for about six weeks and can lose about half their body weight until they dive in and begin to hunt for themselves. Over-exploitation, especially in the northwest Atlantic, along with an unregulated and expanding trade in seal products, are the single largest threat to the Harp seal. Other threats are global warming, accidental catches in fishing equipment, oil spills and other environmental contaminants. Gestation: days, but twelve months in total because of delayed implantation.