Here in the Puget Sound region, we’re so fortunate to have miles of beaches to explore while maintaining the physical distancing that protects everyone’s health. And, better yet, we’ve got some upcoming low-tide days that will offer the perfect opportunity to explore the intertidal zone—the strip of land between high and low tide—to discover the amazing creatures that live there.
Harbor seals (Phoca vitulina) are members of the true seal group. They comprise a generally inquisitive, but elusive, species which spends equal time on land and in the sea. These seals are not limited to salt water and have been found in inland waterways and lakes. In the order Pinnipedia (modified limbs to flippers) and family Phocidae.
Seattle Aquarium mammal biologist, Julie Carpenter recently assisted NOAA scientists from the Alaska Fisheries Science Center with their annual research in the Pribliof Islands of Alaska, which are home to breeding colonies (or rookeries) of the northern fur seal.