KelsaeJohn's picture


Observed: 20th June 2013 By: KelsaeJohnKelsaeJohn’s reputation in MammalsKelsaeJohn’s reputation in MammalsKelsaeJohn’s reputation in Mammals

I believe there are several species of seal on Svalbard. Is this also a Bearded Seal, or one of the other species?
Pictures taken by a friend of mine on a recent trip to the island of Svalbard in the Arctic region of Norway

Species interactions

No interactions present.


the naturalist man's picture


You can rule out common seal, they are the same as ours; Ringed seals don't always have obvious rings but they do look very puppy-dog like and are very similar to common seals - so they are out; adult harp seals are very distinctive with a black face mask and large, harp-shaped black mark on their back, young harp seals are spotted - so harp seal is out.

That leaves us with bearded seal. This animal has the 'panda' eyes and the black line down the back; it also has a large mass of whiskers, though the bold face pattern of the other bearded seal you have a photo is largely missing there is a hint of it.

Stick up an ID of bearded seal and I'll agree with it.

Seals have long been a love of mine, I've been involved with seal monitoring in Wales and Scotland and my wife did her Masters dissertation on seal monitoring and their economic impact in the North Atlantic. Thanks for these wonderful photos.

Graham Banwell

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