Hi, I’m Katie Florko, a University of British Columbia researcher helping to protect the ringed seals in an area of the Arctic called the Hudson Bay.
We can all agree that ringed seals are super cute, with their plump bodies, spotted gray fur, and big brown eyes. But there’s a lot more to these animals than their lovable looks.
In their habitat all around the Arctic, ringed seals are the smallest seal species. They live near the ice for most of the year, so they have a thick layer of blubber to keep them warm. They’re also great divers and can hold their breath underwater for around 45 minutes! These superpowers come in handy as ringed seals hunt for the fish and other small sea creatures they eat. And it helps them hide from the polar bears and other predators that want to eat them.
Ringed seals are expert diggers, too. Using the claws on their flippers, they create snow caves to stay warm and protect themselves and their young from predators, and they cut holes into the ice so they can quickly dive and hide beneath it.
Ringed seals rely on the Arctic ice for food and protection, but their habitat keeps melting as temperatures rise due to climate change. I’m studying the relationships between these creatures and others in their food chain, so we can better help the ringed seals for years to come. But I need some help!
Head to the Adoptions section in the Earth Rangers App or visit the Earth Rangers Shop to get your Ringed Seal Adoption Kit and make a difference today!