THE MOST NORTHERLY HARBOR SEAL, PHOCA VITULINA, AT PRINS KARLS FORLAND, SVALBARD

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Abstract

The harbor seal (Phoca vitulina) has its northernmost distribution at the Norwegian arctic archipelago of Svalbard. Little information exists on this particular harbor seal population. The present paper summarizes this information, and gives the result of surveys of harbor seals conducted in Svalbard in 1984, 1985 and 1987. These surveys show that harbor seals in Svalbard are limited to the area around Prins Karls Forland, the westernmost island in the archipelago. The harbor seal population at Prins Karls Forland numbers at least five to six hundred animals.

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