Harbor seal distribution and abundance in the Estuary and the Gulf of St. Lawrence, including Saguenay River
Most of the data were collected during aerial surveys carried out at low tides during June and August 1994-1997, 2000 and 2001. June and August are respectively pupping and moulting seasons, when the haulout sites are intensively used by seals. Features in this layer show the Harbour seal distribution and the mean abundance for all aerial surveys (tables 3 and 5, figures 3 and 5 from Robillard et al. 2005). In the estuary, areas of high abundance have more than 30 individuals, areas of medium abundance have between 10 and 30 individuals and areas of low abundance have fewer than 10 individuals. In the Gulf, areas of high abundance have more than 50 individuals and areas of medium to low abundance have fewer than 50 individuals. Unpublished data obtained from Parks Canada and Sepaq were also used to identify important haulout areas in the Saguenay Fjord sector and in Pointe-aux-Vaches tidal flat sectors, which have been categorized in this dataset as high abundance areas.
Data are valid only during summer (except for the Pointe-aux-Vaches flats identified as mainly frequented in autumn by Parc Canada), because spring and fall distributions of the Harbour seal are unknown. Data shown in the Estuary and the Gulf of St. Lawrence are a picture of the situation in 2005 because it is the most recent mapping available for this specie. The distribution of the Harbour seal is non-uniform among the different concentration areas but is similar between June and August. However, Harbour seals tend to decrease their presence along the south shore and the Lower Estuary in August to the benefit of the Saguenay River colonies. Abundance classes are arbitrary but fit with the published results of haulout site utilization from Robillard et al. (2005).
Data sources :
Parks Canada. 2021. Personal communication. Harbor seal monitoring data on the Pointe-aux-Vaches tidal flat.
Parks Canada and SÉPAQ, 2020. Données du suivi du phoque commun dans le fjord du Saguenay. Unpublished data.
Robillard, A., V. Lesage, and M.O. Hammill. 2005. Distribution and abundance of harbour seals (Phoca vitulina concolor) and grey seals (Halichoerus grypus) in the Estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence, 1994–2001. Can. Tech. Rep. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 2613: 152 pp.
- Publisher - Current Organization Name: Fisheries and Oceans Canada
- Licence: Open Government Licence - Canada
Data and Resources
Harbor seal distribution and abundanceESRI RESTEnglish web_service ESRI REST
Harbor seal distribution and abundanceESRI RESTFrench web_service ESRI REST
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Layer of the Harbor seal distribution and abundanceSHPEnglish French dataset SHP
|Harbor seal distribution and abundance in the Estuary and the Gulf of St. Lawrence, including Saguenay River|
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