NMFS Denies Ribbon Seal Endangered Species Listing

Ribbon seal. Photo: Mike Cameron, NOAA's National Marine Mammal Laboratory
Ribbon seal. Photo: Mike Cameron, NOAA’s National Marine Mammal Laboratory

A federal agency has again rejected an endangered species listing for a species of ice seal found off Alaska.

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Tuesday, the National Marine Fisheries Service announced it is rejecting a listing for ribbon seals as it did in December 2008.

The agency says in an announcement that anticipated threats from reductions in sea ice and disruption to prey will result in a gradual decline in ribbon seal population numbers. However, the decline is not expected to put them in danger of extinction in the foreseeable future.

Ribbon seals are found in the Bering and Chukchi Seas and the Sea of Okhotsk off Russia.

Ribbon seals during summer live entirely in water. From March through June, they use loose pack ice for reproduction and molting.

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