Distribution and habitat characteristics of pinnipeds and polar bears in the Svalbard Archipelago, 2005–2018

  • Olof Bengtsson Norwegian Polar Institute, Fram Centre, Tromsø, Norway
  • Charmain D. Hamilton Norwegian Polar Institute, Fram Centre, Tromsø, Norway
  • Christian Lydersen Norwegian Polar Institute, Fram Centre, Tromsø, Norway
  • Magnus Andersen Norwegian Polar Institute, Fram Centre, Tromsø, Norway
  • Kit M. Kovacs Norwegian Polar Institute, Fram Centre, Tromsø, Norway
Keywords: Arctic, climate change, Erignathus barbatus, Pusa hispida, range shifts, Ursus maritimus


This study presents comprehensive mapping of the current distribution of pinnipeds and polar bears (Ursus maritimus) around Svalbard based on a regional marine mammal sightings programme and explores time-trends (2005–2018). Walruses (Odobenus rosmarus) were observed with high frequency and in high numbers around previously identified haul-out sites. At-sea walruses were seen close to the coast in shallow waters. Ringed seals (Pusa hispida) were observed in coastal areas throughout Svalbard, often in association with tidewater glacier fronts. There was no increase in the mean latitude for ringed seal observations, but there was an increased frequency of observations at around 82°N, which reflects their following a northward shift in the ice edge during summer foraging trips. Bearded seals (Erignathus barbatus) were observed frequently in north-western Spitsbergen and shared many habitat features with ringed seals. There was a slight increase in the mean latitude of bearded seal observations and a decreased frequency of observation in the southern parts of the archipelago, suggesting that this species might be shifting its distribution. Harbour seal (Phoca vitulina) observations within fjords have increased, likely as a consequence of increased inflow of Atlantic water into west coast fjords. Harp seals (Pagophilus groenlandicus) were observed with high frequency north of Svalbard. Hooded seals (Cystophora cristata) were observed only rarely. Polar bears were reported most frequently, undoubtedly as a result of an effort bias favouring this species. In spite of biases, citizen-based observations are useful for assessing broad distributional patterns of marine mammals through time.


Download data is not yet available.


Aars J., Marques T.A., Lone K., Andersen M., Wiig Ø., Bardalen Fløystad I.M., Hagen S.B. & Buckland S.T. 2017. The number and distribution of polar bears in the western Barents Sea. Polar Research 36, article no. 1374125, doi: 10.1080/17518369.2017.1374125.

Andersen S.M., Lydersen C., Grahl-Nielsen O. & Kovacs K.M. 2004. Autumn diet of harbour seals (Phoca vitulina) at Prins Karls Forland, Svalbard, assessed via scat and fatty-acid analyses. Canadian Journal of Zoology 82, 1230–1245, doi: 10.1139/z04-093.

Bengtsson O., Lydersen C., Kovacs K.M. & Lindström U. 2020. Ringed seal (Pusa hispida) diet on the west coast of Spitsbergen, Svalbard, Norway: during a time of ecosystem change. Polar Biology 43, 773–788, doi: 10.1007/s00300-020-02684-5.

Blanchet M.A., Lydersen C., Ims R.A., Lowther A.D. & Kovacs K.M. 2014. Harbour seal Phoca vitulina movement patterns in the High-Arctic archipelago of Svalbard, Norway. Aquatic Biology 21, 167–181, doi: 10.3354/ab00580.

Brand M. & Fischer P. 2016. Species composition and abundance of the shallow water fish community of Kongsfjorden, Svalbard. Polar Biology 39, 2155–2167, doi: 10.1007/s00300-016-2022-y.

Cameron M.F., Frost K.J., Ver Hoef J.M., Breed G.A., Whiting A.V., Goodwin J. & Boveng P.L. 2018. Habitat selection and seasonal movements of young bearded seals (Erignathus barbatus) in the Bering Sea. PLoS One 13(2), e0192743, doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0192743.

Chacón J.E. & Duong T. 2018. Multivariate kernel smoothing and its applications. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.

Derocher A.E., Wiig Ø. & Andersen M. 2002. Diet composition of polar bears in Svalbard and the western Barents Sea. Polar Biology 25, 448–452, doi: 10.1007/s00300-002-0364-0.

Descamps S., Aars J., Fuglei E., Kovacs K.M., Lydersen C., Pavlova O., Pedersen Å.Ø., Ravolainen V. & Strøm H. 2017. Climate change impacts on wildlife in a High Arctic archipelago—Svalbard, Norway. Global Change Biology 23, 490–502, doi: 10.1111/gcb.13381.

Durner G.M., Douglas D.C., Nielson R.M., Amstrup S.C., McDonald T.L., Stirling I., Mauritzen M., Born E.W., Wiig Ø., DeWeaver E., Serreze M.C., Belikov S.E., Holland M.M., Maslanik J., Aars J., Bailey D.A. & Derocher A.E. 2009. Predicting 21st‐century polar bear habitat distribution from global climate models. Ecological Monographs 79, 25–58, doi: 10.1890/07-2089.1.

Folkow L.P. & Blix A.S. 1999. Diving behaviour of hooded seals (Cystophora cristata) in the Greenland and Norwegian seas. Polar Biology 22, 61–74, doi: 10.1007/s003000050391.

Folkow L.P., Mårtensson P.E. & Blix A.S. 1996. Annual distribution of hooded seals (Cystophora cristata) in the Greenland and Norwegian seas. Polar Biology 16, 179–189, doi: 10.1007/BF02329206.

Folkow L.P., Nordøy E.S. & Blix A.S. 2004. Distribution and diving behaviour of harp seals (Pagophilus groenlandicus) from the Greenland Sea stock. Polar Biology 27, 281–298, doi: 10.1007/s00300-004-0591-7.

Fossheim M., Primicerio R., Johannesen E., Ingvaldsen R.B., Aschan M.M. & Dolgov A.V. 2015. Recent warming leads to a rapid borealization of fish communities in the Arctic. Nature Climate Change 5, 673–677, doi: 10.1038/nclimate2647.

Freitas C., Kovacs K.M., Ims R.A., Fedak M.A. & Lydersen C. 2008. Ringed seal post-moulting movement tactics and habitat selection. Oecologia 155, 193–204, doi: 10.1007/s00442-007-0894-9.

Freitas C., Kovacs K.M., Ims R.A., Fedak M.A. & Lydersen C. 2009. Deep into the ice: over-wintering and habitat selection in male Atlantic walruses. Marine Ecology Progress Series 375, 247–261, doi: 10.3354/meps07725.

Gjertz I., Griffiths D., Krafft B.A., Lydersen C. & Wiig Ø. 2001. Diving and haul-out patterns of walruses Odobenus rosmarus on Svalbard. Polar Biology 24, 314–319, doi: 10.1007/s003000000211.

Gjertz I., Kovacs K.M., Lydersen C. & Wiig Ø. 2000a. Movements and diving of adult ringed seals (Phoca hispida) in Svalbard. Polar Biology 23, 651–656, doi: 10.1007/s003000000143.

Gjertz I., Kovacs K.M., Lydersen C. & Wiig Ø. 2000b. Movements and diving of bearded seal (Erignathus barbatus) mothers and pups during lactation and post-weaning. Polar Biology 23, 559–566, doi: 10.1007/s003000000121.

Gjertz I., Lydersen C. & Wiig Ø. 2001. Distribution and diving of harbour seals (Phoca vitulina) in Svalbard. Polar Biology 24, 209–214, doi: 10.1007/s003000000197.

Gjertz I. & Wiig Ø. 1992. Feeding of walrus Odobenus rosmarus in Svalbard. Polar Record 28, 57–59, doi: 10.1017/S0032247400020283.

Gjertz I. & Wiig Ø. 1994. Past and present distribution of walruses in Svalbard. Arctic 47, 34–42, doi: 10.14430/arctic1269.

Hamilton C.D., Kovacs K.M., Ims R.A., Aars J. & Lydersen C. 2017. An Arctic predator–prey system in flux: climate change impacts on coastal space use by polar bears and ringed seals. Journal of Animal Ecology 86, 1054–1064, doi: 10.1111/1365-2656.12685.

Hamilton C.D., Kovacs K.M. & Lydersen C. 2015. Year-round haul-out behaviour of male walruses Odobenus rosmarus in the northern Barents Sea. Marine Ecology Progress Series 519, 251–263, doi: 10.3354/meps11089.

Hamilton C.D., Kovacs K.M. & Lydersen C. 2018. Individual variability in diving, movement and activity patterns of adult bearded seals in Svalbard, Norway. Scientific Reports 8, article no. 16988, doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-35306-6.

Hamilton C.D., Kovacs K.M. & Lydersen C. 2019. Sympatric seals use different habitats in an Arctic glacial fjord. Marine Ecology Progress Series 615, 205–220, doi: 10.3354/meps12917.

Hamilton C.D., Lydersen C., Ims R.A. & Kovacs K.M. 2014. Haul-out behaviour of the world’s northernmost population of harbour seals (Phoca vitulina) throughout the year. PLoS One 9(1), e86055, doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0086055.

Hamilton C.D., Lydersen C., Ims R.A. & Kovacs K.M. 2015. Predictions replaced by facts: a keystone species’ behavioural responses to declining Arctic sea ice. Biology Letters 11, article no. 20150803, doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2015.0803.

Hamilton C.D., Lydersen C., Ims R.A. & Kovacs K.M. 2016. Coastal habitat use by ringed seals Pusa hispida following a regional sea-ice collapse: importance of glacial refugia in a changing Arctic. Marine Ecology Progress Series 545, 261–277, doi: 10.3354/meps11598.

Hartley C.H. & Fisher J. 1936. The marine foods of birds in an inland fjord region in west Spitsbergen. Part 2. Birds. The Journal of Animal Ecology 5, 370–389, doi: 10.2307/1041.

Haug T., Nilssen K.T., Ien N. & Potelov V. 1994. Seasonal distribution of harp seals (Phoca groenlandica) in the Barents Sea. Polar Research 13, 163–172, doi: 10.1111/j.1751-8369.1994.tb00446.x.

Henriksen G., Gjertz I. & Kondakov A. 1997. A review of the distribution and abundance of harbor seals, Phoca vitulina, on Svalbard, Norway, and in the Barents Sea. Marine Mammal Science 13, 157–163, doi: 10.1111/j.1748-7692.1997.tb00622.x.

Hindell M.A., Lydersen C., Hop H. & Kovacs K.M. 2012. Pre-partum diet of adult female bearded seals in years of contrasting ice conditions. PLoS One 7(5), e38307, doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0038307.

Ingvaldsen R.B. & Gjøsæter H. 2013. Responses in spatial distribution of Barents Sea capelin to changes in stock size, ocean temperature and ice cover. Marine Biology Research 9, 867–877, doi: 10.1080/17451000.2013.775450.

IPCC 2014. Climate change 2014: synthesis report. Geneva: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Isaksen K., Nordli Ø., Førland E.J., Łupikasza E., Eastwood S. & Niedźwiedź T. 2016. Recent warming on Spitsbergen—influence of atmospheric circulation and sea ice cover. Journal of Geophysical Research—Atmospheres 121, 11–913, doi: 10.1002/2016JD025606.

Jakobsson M., Mayer L., Coakley B., Dowdeswell J.A., Forbes S., Fridman B., Noormets R., Pedersen R., Rebesco M., Schenke H.W., Zarayskaya Y., Accettella D., Armstrong A., Anderson R.M., Bienhoff P., Camerlenghi A., Church I., Edwards M., Gardner J.V., Hall J.K., Hell B., Hestvik O., Kristoffersen Y., Christian M., Mohammad R., Mosher D., Ngheim S.V., Pedrosa M.T., Travaglini P.G. & Weatherall P. 2012. The International Bathymetric Chart of the Arctic Ocean (IBCAO) version 3.0. Geophysical Research Letters 39, L12609, doi: 10.1029/2012GL052219.

Kohler J., König M., Nuth C. & Villaflor G. 2018. Svalbard tidewater glacier front database. 2.07. Data set. Tromsø, Norway: Norwegian Polar Institute. doi: 10.21334/npolar.2018.7cd67b1a.

Kovacs K.M., Aars J. & Lydersen C. 2014. Walruses recovering after 60+ years of protection in Svalbard, Norway. Polar Research 33, article no. 26034, doi: 10.3402/polar.v33.26034.

Kovacs K.M. & Lydersen C. 2006. Birds and mammals of Svalbard. Polar Handbook 13. Tromsø: Norwegian Polar Institute.

Kovacs K.M., Lydersen C., Overland J.E. & Moore S.E. 2011. Impacts of changing sea-ice conditions on Arctic marine mammals. Marine Biodiversity 41, 181–194, doi: 10.1007/s12526-010-0061-0.

Krafft B.A., Lydersen C., Gjertz I. & Kovacs K.M. 2002. Diving behaviour of sub-adult harbour seals (Phoca vitulina) at Prins Karls Forland, Svalbard. Polar Biology 25, 230–234, doi: 10.1007/s00300-001-0330-2.

Laidre K.L., Born E.W., Atkinson S.N., Wiig Ø., Andersen L.W., Lunn N.J., Dyck M., Regehr E.V., McGovern R. & Heagerty P. 2018. Range contraction and increasing isolation of a polar bear subpopulation in an era of sea‐ice loss. Ecology and Evolution 8, 2062–2075, doi: 10.1002/ece3.3809.

Laidre K.L., Stern H., Kovacs K.M., Lowry L., Moore S.E., Regehr E.V., Fergusson S.H., Wiig Ø., Boveng P., Angliss R.P., Born E.W., Litovka D., Quakenbush L., Lydersen C., Vongraven D. & Ugarte F. 2015. Arctic marine mammal population status, sea ice habitat loss, and conservation recommendations for the 21st century. Conservation Biology 29, 724–737, doi: 10.1111/cobi.12474.

Larsen T. 1986. Population biology of the polar bear (Ursus maritimus) in the Svalbard area. Oslo: Norwegian Polar Institute.

LaRue M.A., Ainley D.G., Pennycook J., Stamatiou K., Salas L., Nur N., Stammerjohn S. & Barrington L. 2020. Engaging “the crowd” in remote sensing to learn about habitat affinity of the Weddell seal in Antarctica. Remote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation 6, 70–78, doi: 10.1002/rse2.124.

Lebedev S.A., Kostianoy A.G. & Popov S.K. 2019. Satellite altimetry of sea level and ice cover in the Barents Sea. Ecologica Montenegrina 25, 26–35, doi: 10.37828/em.2019.25.3.

Leclerc L-M., Lydersen C., Haug T., Bachmann L., Fisk A. & Kovacs K. 2012. A missing piece in the Arctic food web puzzle? Stomach contents of Greenland sharks sampled in Svalbard, Norway. Polar Biology 45, 1197–1208, doi: 10.1007/s00300-012-1166-7.

Lind S., Ingvaldsen R.B. & Furevik T. 2018. Arctic warming hotspot in the northern Barents Sea linked to declining sea-ice import. Nature Climate Change 8, 634–639, doi: 10.1038/s41558-018-0205-y.

Lodi L. & Tardin R. 2018. Citizen science contributes to the understanding of the occurrence and distribution of cetaceans in southeastern Brazil—a case study. Ocean & Coastal Management 158, 45–55, doi: 10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2018.03.029.

Lone K., Hamilton C.D., Aars J., Lydersen C. & Kovacs K.M. 2019. Summer habitat selection by ringed seals (Pusa hispida) in the drifting sea ice of the northern Barents Sea. Polar Research 38, article no. 3483, doi: 10.33265/polar.v38.3483.

Lone K., Merkel B., Lydersen C., Kovacs K.M. & Aars J. 2018. Sea ice resource selection models for polar bears in the Barents Sea subpopulation. Ecography 41, 567–578, doi: 10.1111/ecog.03020.

Lønø O. 1970. The polar bear (Ursus maritimus Phipps) in the Svalbard area. Oslo: Norwegian Polar Institute.

Lowther A.D., Kovacs K.M., Griffiths D. & Lydersen C. 2015. Identification of motivational state in adult male Atlantic walruses inferred from changes in movement and diving behavior. Marine Mammal Science 31, 1291–1313, doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0124754.

Lydersen C. 1998. Status and biology of ringed seals (Phoca hispida) in Svalbard. NAMMCO Scientific Publications 1, 46–62, doi: 10.7557/3.2980.

Lydersen C., Aars J. & Kovacs K.M. 2008. Estimating the number of walruses in Svalbard from aerial surveys and behavioural data from satellite telemetry. Arctic 61, 119–128, doi: 10.14430/arctic31.

Lydersen C., Angantyr L.A., Wiig Ø. & Øritsland T. 1991. Feeding habits of Northeast Atlantic harp seals (Phoca groenlandica) along the summer ice edge of the Barents Sea. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 48, 2180–2183, doi: 10.1139/f91-257.

Lydersen C., Assmy P., Falk-Petersen S., Kohler J., Kovacs K.M., Reigstad M., Steen H., Strøm H., Sundfjord A., Varpe Ø., Walczowski W., Węsławski J.M. & Zajaczkowski M. 2014. The importance of tidewater glaciers for marine mammals and seabirds in Svalbard, Norway. Journal of Marine Systems 129, 452–471, doi: 10.1016/j.jmarsys.2013.09.006.

Lydersen C. & Gjertz I. 1986. Studies of the ringed seal (Phoca hispida Schreber 1775) in its breeding habitat in Kongsfjorden, Svalbard. Polar Research 4, 57–63, doi: 10.3402/polar.v4i1.6920.

Lydersen C., Gjertz I. & Węsławski J.M. 1989. Stomach contents of autumn-feeding marine vertebrates from Hornsund, Svalbard. Polar Record 25, 107–114, doi: 10.1017/S0032247400010408.

Lydersen C., Vaquie-Garcia J., Lydersen E., Christensen G.N. & Kovacs K.M. 2017. Novel terrestrial haul-out behaviour by ringed seals (Pusa hispida) in Svalbard, in association with harbour seals (Phoca vitulina). Polar Research 36, article no. 1374124, doi: 10.1080/17518369.2017.1374124.

Maslanik J.A., Fowler C., Stroeve J., Drobot S., Zwally J., Yi D. & Emery W. 2007. A younger, thinner Arctic ice cover: increased potential for rapid, extensive sea‐ice loss. Geophysical Research Letters 34, L24501, doi: 10.1029/2007GL032043.

Mauritzen M., Derocher A.E., Wiig Ø., Belikov S.E., Boltunov A.N., Hansen E. & Garner G.W. 2002. Using satellite telemetry to define spatial population structure in polar bears in the Norwegian and western Russian Arctic. Journal of Applied Ecology 39, 79–90, doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2664.2002.00690.x.

McLaren I.A. 1958. The biology of the ringed seal, Phoca hispida, in the eastern Canadian Arctic. Ottawa: Fisheries Research Board of Canada.

Merkel B., Lydersen C., Yoccoz N.G. & Kovacs K.M. 2013. The world’s northernmost harbour seal population—how many are there? PLoS One 8(7), e67576, doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0067576.

MOSJ (Environmental Monitoring of Svalbard and Jan Mayen) 2019. Walrus population. Accessed on the internet at http://www.mosj.no/en/fauna/marine/walrus-population.html on 5 March 2020.

Muckenhuber S., Nilsen F., Korosov A. & Sandven S. 2016. Sea ice cover in Isfjorden and Hornsund, Svalbard (2000–2014) from remote sensing data. The Cryosphere 10, 149–158, doi: 10.5194/tc-10-149-2016.

NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration Goddard Space Flight Center, Ocean Ecology Laboratory, Ocean Biology Processing Group) 2014. Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Aqua 11μm Day/Night Sea Surface Temperature Data. NASA OB.DAAC. Doi: data/10.5067/AQUA/MODIS/L3B/SST/2014. Accessed on the internet at https://oceandata.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/MODIS-Aqua/Mapped/Monthly/4km/sst/ on 10 October 2019.

Nordøy E.S., Folkow L.P., Potelov V., Prischemikhin V. & Blix A.S. 2008. Seasonal distribution and dive behaviour of harp seals (Pagophilus groenlandicus) of the White Sea–Barents Sea stock. Polar Biology 31, article no. 1119, doi: 10.1007/s00300-008-0453-9.

Nuth C., Kohler J., König M., von Deschwanden A., Hagen J.O., Kääb A., Moholdt G. & Petterson R. 2013. Decadal changes from a multi-temporal glacier inventory of Svalbard. The Cryosphere 7, 1603–1621, doi: 10.5194/tc-7-1603-2013.

Onarheim I.H., Smedsrud L.H., Ingvaldsen R.B. & Nilsen F. 2014. Loss of sea ice during winter north of Svalbard. Tellus A 66, article no. 23933, doi: 10.3402/tellusa.v66.23933.

Øren K., Kovacs K.M., Yoccoz N.G. & Lydersen C. 2018. Assessing site-use and sources of disturbance at walrus haul-outs using monitoring cameras. Polar Biology 41, 1737–1750, doi: 10.1007/s00300-018-2313-6.

Pörtner H.-O., Roberts D.C., Masson-Delmotte V., Zhai P., Tignor M., Poloczanska E., Mintenbeck K., Alegría A., Nicolai M., Okem A., Petzold J., Rama B. & Weyer N.M. (eds.) 2019. The ocean and cryosphere in a changing climate. A special report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Geneva: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

R Development Core Team 2018. A language and environment for statistical computing. Vienna: R Foundation for Statistical Computing.

Reder S., Lydersen C., Arnold W. & Kovacs K.M. 2003. Haulout behaviour of High Arctic harbour seals (Phoca vitulina vitulina) in Svalbard, Norway. Polar Biology 27, 6–16, doi: 10.1007/s00300-003-0557-1.

Rode K. & Stirling I. 2018. Polar bear: Ursus maritimus. In B. Würsig et al. (eds.): Encyclopedia of marine mammals. Pp. 743–746. Cambridge, MA: Academic Press.

Sakshaug E. & Skjoldal H.R. 1989. Life at the ice edge. Ambio 8, 60–67.

Serreze M.C. & Stroeve J. 2015. Arctic sea ice trends, variability and implications for seasonal ice forecasting. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A 373, article no. 20140159, doi: 10.1098/rsta.2014.0159.

Silverman B.W. 1986. Density estimation for statistics and data analysis. London: Chapman and Hall.

Silvertown J. 2009. A new dawn for citizen science. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 24, 467–471, doi: 10.1016/j.tree.2009.03.017.

Simpkins M.A., Hiruki-Raring L.M., Sheffield G., Grebmeier J.M. & Bengtson J.L. 2003. Habitat selection by ice-associated pinnipeds near St. Lawrence Island, Alaska in March 2001. Polar Biology 26, 577–586, doi: 10.1007/s00300-003-0527-7.

Skoglund E.G., Lydersen C., Grahl-Nielsen O., Haug T. & Kovacs K.M. 2010. Fatty acid composition of the blubber and dermis of adult male Atlantic walruses (Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus) in Svalbard, and their potential prey. Marine Biology Research 6, 239–250, doi: 10.1080/17451000903233755.

Smith T.G. & Lydersen C. 1991. Availability of suitable land-fast ice and predation as factors limiting ringed seal populations, Phoca hispida, in Svalbard. Polar Research 10, 585–594, doi: 10.3402/polar.v10i2.6769.

Smith T.G. & Stirling I. 2019. Predation of harp seals, Pagophilus groenlandicus, by polar bears, Ursus maritimus, in Svalbard. Arctic 72, 197–202, doi: 10.14430/arctic68186.

Spielhagen R.F., Werner K., Sørensen S.A., Zamelszyk K., Kandiano E., Budeus G., Husum K., Marchitto T. & Hald M. 2011. Enhanced modern heat transfer to the Arctic by warm Atlantic Water. Science 331, 450–453, doi: 10.1126/science.1197397.

Stephenson F., Goetz K., Sharp B.R., Mouton T.L., Beets F.L., Roberts J. MacDiarmid A.B., Constantine R. & Lundquist C.J. 2020. Modelling the spatial distribution of cetaceans in New Zealand waters. Diversity and Distributions 26, 495–516, doi: 10.1111/ddi.13035.

Stirling I. & Derocher A.E. 2012. Effects of climate warming on polar bears: a review of the evidence. Global Change Biology 18, 2694–2706, doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2486.2012.02753.x.

Storrie L., Lydersen C., Andersen M., Wynn R.B. & Kovacs K.M. 2018. Determining the species assemblage and habitat use of cetaceans in the Svalbard Archipelago, based on observations from 2002 to 2014. Polar Research 37, article no. 1463065, doi: 10.1080/17518369.2018.1463065.

Sundfjord A., Albretsen J., Kasajima Y., Skogseth R., Kohler J., Nuth C., Skarðhamar J., Cottier F., Nilsen F., Asplin L., Gerland S. & Torsvik T. 2017. Effects of glacier runoff and wind on surface layer dynamics and Atlantic Water exchange in Kongsfjorden, Svalbard; a model study. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 187, 260–272, doi: 10.1016/j.ecss.2017.01.015.

Tonachella N., Nastasi A., Kaufman G., Maldini D. & Rankin R.W. 2012. Predicting trends in humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) abundance using citizen science. Pacific Conservation Biology 18, 297–309, doi: 10.1071/PC120297.

Tverberg V., Nøst O.A., Lydersen C. & Kovacs K.M. 2014. Winter sea ice melting in the Atlantic Water subduction area, Svalbard, Norway. Journal of Geophysical Research—Oceans 119, 5945–5967, doi: 10.1002/2014JC010013.

Vacquie-Garcia J., Lydersen C., Biuw M., Haug T., Fedak M.A. & Kovacs K.M. 2017. Hooded seal Cystophora cristata foraging areas in the Northeast Atlantic Ocean—investigated using three complementary methods. PLoS One 12(12), e0187889, doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0187889.

Vann-Sander S., Clifton J. & Harvey E. 2016. Can citizen science work? Perceptions of the role and utility of citizen science in a marine policy and management context. Marine Policy 72, 82–93, doi: 10.1016/j.marpol.2016.06.026.

Walsh J.E., Fetterer F., Scott Stewart J. & Chapman W.L. 2017. A database for depicting Arctic sea ice variations back to 1850. Geographical Review 107, 89–107, doi: 10.1111/j.1931-0846.2016.12195.x.

Wathne J.A., Haug T. & Lydersen C. 2000. Prey preferences and niche overlap of ringed seals Phoca hispida and harp seals P. groenlandica in the Barents Sea. Marine Ecology Progress Series 194, 233–239, doi: 10.3354/meps194233.

Wiig Ø., Derocher A.I. & Belikov S.E. 1999. Ring seal (Phoca hispida) breeding in the drifting pack ice of the Barents Sea. Marine Mammal Science 15, 595–598, doi: 10.1111/j.1748-7692.1999.tb00828.x.
How to Cite
Bengtsson O., Hamilton C. D., Lydersen C., Andersen M., & Kovacs K. M. (2021). Distribution and habitat characteristics of pinnipeds and polar bears in the Svalbard Archipelago, 2005–2018. Polar Research, 40. https://doi.org/10.33265/polar.v40.5326
Research Articles

Most read articles by the same author(s)