[MARMAM] New publication on the moulting phenology of Saimaa ringed seals

Milaja Nykänen milaja.ny at gmail.com
Thu Aug 25 04:56:50 PDT 2022

Dear colleagues,

On behalf of my co-authors, I'd like to draw your attention to a recently
published paper on the moulting phenology of Saimaa ringed seals.

Niemi M, Nykänen M, Biard V, Kurkilahti M, Kunnasranta M. 2022. Molting
phenology of a lacustrine ringed seal, Pusa hispida saimensis. Ecology and
Evolution, e9248.


The timing and effect of a range of environmental variables on the annual
molt of ringed seals (Pusa hispida saimensis) in Lake Saimaa were studied
in 2013–2019. Molting patterns were investigated by mixed models run on
photoidentification data collected by camera trapping and digital camera
surveys. Photoperiod was the predominant environmental variable affecting
the molt but molting of females was also linked to air temperature and ice
thickness. The cumulative proportion of molting seals peaked around the
18th–20th May, when day length reached 18 h. The main molting season, when
most of the seals were hauled out at the same time, lasted on average for
16 days with considerable inter-annual differences in the duration (range
11–22 days). The results provide important baseline information on Saimaa
ringed seal molt. Continued monitoring is important as the molt is an
energetically demanding period for the seals, and any changes in molting
behavior may indicate changes in habitat or in environmental conditions.

The article is freely available at: https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.9248

All the best,
Milaja Nykänen

Dr Milaja Nykänen
Post-doctoral researcher

University of Eastern Finland

Saimaa ringed seal research

Department of Environmental and Biological Sciences

PO Box 111

FI-80101 Joensuu
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