Save the Seals

Help spread awareness for theses amazing animals

General description

Bearded seals are one of four arctic seal species, in Alaskan waters, that rely on sea ice for feeding and resting; these four species are collectively called ‘ice seals.’ Bearded seals are the largest of all arctic seals and are distributed in the Bering, Chukchi, and Beaufort seas in Alaska; their overall distribution is circumpolar. They have a small head in proportion to their body, long whiskers, and square-shaped fore flippers. Adults can grow to 7–8 feet in length, from the nose to the tip of the tail, and weigh 575–800 pounds, with females weighing slightly more than males.


Because of their dependence on sea ice, there is concern that climate change may negatively affect bearded seals and their habitat. Changes in sea ice thickness, coverage, formation timing, and duration of coverage due to climate change may substantially alter prey availability and the quality and amount of sea ice necessary for feeding, resting, molting, and pupping. Activities associated with offshore oil exploration and recovery could affect bearded seal distribution and the prey they feed on.
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Make a difference

Defenders is working to prevent the loss of our most vulnerable wildlife species, particularly in the Arctic, where the effects of climate change are most evident, by encouraging lawmakers to pass and enact legislation, such as the Safeguarding America’s Future and Environment (SAFE) Act, which would help address current and future impacts of global warming on wildlife and habitat.

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