CREATURES: The Seals of Fundy

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There are four species of seals which you may see in the Bay of Fundy



Harbour Seals (Phoca vitulina concolor) Present to common throughout the Bay of Fundy.

 Harbor seals are normally found along the Atlantic Coast and islands from Maine southward to Massachusetts. Occasionally, areas further south in Connecticut, Long Island, New Jersey, and even North Carolina have reported small populations or stranded seals have been found in and near islands or on beaches. Harbor seals move down from eastern Canadian waters to breed along the coast of Maine in May and June, and return northward in fall. Massachusetts is the southernmost point of known pupping areas along the Atlantic Coast. Wikipedia

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Grey Seals (Halichoerus grypus) Common at Grand Manan and the Quoddy area.

In the Western North Atlantic, the grey seal is typically found in large numbers in the coastal waters of Canada and south to about New Jersey in the United States. In Canada, it is typically seen in areas such as the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Newfoundland, the Maritimes, and Quebec. The largest colony in the world is at Sable Island, NS. In the United States it’s found year round off the coast of New England, in particular Maine and Massachusetts, and slightly less frequently in the Middle Atlantic States.


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Harp Seal (Phoca groenlandica) This seal is an occasional visitor from the north. 

The harp seal population is found in three separate populations, each of which uses a specific breeding site. The western North Atlantic stock, which is the largest, is located off eastern Canada. This population is further divided into two separate herds based on the breeding location. The Front herd breeds off the coast of Labrador and Newfoundland, and the Gulf herd breeds near the Magdalen Islands in the middle of the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Wikipedia


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Hooded Seal (Crystophora cristata) This seal is also an occasional visitor from the north.

The hooded seal (Cystophora cristata) is a large phocid found only in the central and western North Atlantic, ranging from Svalbard in the east to the Gulf of St. Lawrence in the west. The seals are typically silver-grey in colour, with black spots that vary in size covering most of the body. Hooded seal pups are known as “blue-backs” because their coats are blue-grey on the back with whitish bellies, though this coat is shed after 14 months of age when the pups molt. Wikipedia


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Walrus (Odobenus rosmarus) No longer occurs in the Bay of Fundy or Gulf of Maine.

The Atlantic walrus once ranged south to Cape Cod and as late as the eighteenth century was found in large numbers in the greater Gulf of St. Lawrence region, sometimes in colonies of up to 7,000 to 8,000 individuals. This population was nearly eradicated by commercial harvest; their current numbers, though difficult to estimate, probably remain below 20,000. In April 2006, the Canadian Species at Risk Act listed the population of the northwest Atlantic walrus in Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador as having been eradicated in Canada. Wikipedia


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