Seasonal trends in acoustic detection of ribbon seal (Histriophoca fasciata) vocalizations in the Bering Sea

Jennifer L. Miksis-Olds, Susan E. Parks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The seasonal presence of ribbon seals (Histriophoca fasciata) on the central and southeastern Bering Sea shelf was determined from vocalizations recorded with a Passive Aquatic Listening (PAL) recorder at two sites along the 70-m isobath from 2007 to 2010. Ribbon seal vocalizations were identified as intense, stereotyped downsweeps, roars, and grunts. Acoustic detections were sea-sonal, with peak acoustic activity occurring in April at the southeastern site and May at the cen-tral shelf location. Ribbon seal acoustic presence was tightly coupled to sea ice presence, and onset of detection was associated with thicker, more extensive ice cover compared to the other Arctic pinnipeds (bearded seals [Erignathus barbatus] and walrus [Odobenus rosmarus]) detected in the region. Ribbon seal vocalizations were detected only when ice cover in the area exceeded 80%, suggesting that this species has a habitat prefer-ence or requirement for a more stable ice platform for some activities during the winter breeding season.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)464-471
Number of pages8
JournalAquatic Mammals
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Acoustic detection
  • Bering Sea
  • Histriophoca fasciata
  • Ribbon seal
  • Vocalization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation


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