Freshwater seal

The freshwater seals are the species of seals which live exclusively in freshwater bodies.

The only true freshwater seal species is the Baikal seal, locally named Nerpa (Нерпа).

The others are the subspecies or colonies of regular saltwater seals. These include the subspecies of ringed seal: the Ladoga seal and the Saimaa ringed seal.

Common seals are known to enter estuaries and freshwater rivers[1] in pursuit of their prey. Colonies of common seals live in some lakes, such as seals of Iliamna Lake, Alaska, trapped there a long time ago.[2] There is also a subspecies called the Ungava seal (Phoca vitulina mellonae) that comprises less than 300 individuals[3] landlocked in the fresh water of Lacs des Loups Marins, Petit Lac de Loups Marins, and Lac Bourdel in northern Quebec.[4]


  1. ^ "Harbor seal pups swim 60 miles inland in Maine", Portland Press-Herald, June 29, 2011.
  2. ^ "Resident Harbor Seals (Phoca vitulina) in Iliamna Lake, Alaska: Summer Diet and Partial Consumption of Adult Sockeye Salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka)", Aquatic Mammals, July 2008.
  3. ^ Turpin, Ben (23 April 2008). "Freshwater seals of Iliamna Lake photographed". Scott Dickerson Blog. Scott Dickerson photography. Retrieved 16 July 2010.
  4. ^ Smith, Richard J.; Cox, Tara M.; Westgate, Andrew J. (17 Jan 2006). "MOVEMENTS OF HARBOR SEALS (PHOCA VITULINA MELLONAE) IN LACS DES LOUPS MARINS, QUEBEC". Marine Mammal Science. 22 (2): 485. doi:10.1111/j.1748-7692.2006.00024.x. Archived from the original on 5 January 2013. Retrieved 16 July 2010.

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