Estimating Abundance of Seals in a Drifting Environment: 2005: Pup Production of Harp Seals, Pagophilus groenlandicus, in the Northwest Atlantic
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Original versionThis report is not to be quoted without prior consultation with the General Secretary.
Photographic and visual aerial surveys to determine current pup production of northwest Atlantic harp seals were conducted off Newfoundland and Labrador (the “Front”), and in the Gulf of St. Lawrence during March 2004. Surveys of four whelping concentrations were conducted between 5 and 18 March resulting in estimated pup production of 640,800 (SE=46,900, CV=7.3%) at the Front, 89,600 (SE=22,500, CV=25.4%) in the northern Gulf, and 261,000 (SE=25,700, CV=9.8%) in the southern Gulf (Magdalen Island), for a total of 991,400 (SE=58,200, CV=5.9%). Surveys were corrected for the temporal distribution of births and the mis-identification of pups by readers. Comparison with previous estimates indicates that pup production has not changed since 1999, likely due to the increased hunting of young animals which began in the mid 1990s.