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Ringed seal


Around 1.65 meter


Around 110 kilogram


Brown-grey with lighter rings


Maximum 43 years (average 15-20 years)


Fish, krill and crustaceans


Swimming and hobbling


People (hunting, fisheries, pollution and disturbance) and polar bears


mature: one year old

  • Dut: Ringelrob (stinkrob, kleine zeehond))
  • Eng: Ringed seal
  • Fren: le phoque annelé (le phoque marbré)
  • Ger: Ringelrobbe
  • Lat: Phoca hispida (Pusa hispida)
  • Dan: Ringsælen
  • Nor: Ringsel
Ringed seal, Ecomare

Ringed seal

Ringed seals are fat little seals and are therefore also referred to as the small seal. They live in and around the Arctic region, but sometimes wander into the North Sea. In the Arctic region, ringed seals make fortresses in snow mounds on the pack ice, where the young are born. The mother can reach her young through a breathing hole in the pack ice. These breathing holes are often favorite spots for polar bears, where they will wait to catch a good meal.

On Texel

Ringelrob op de dijk bij Oudeschild, Ecomare, Monique van Sambeek

There are five known beachings of ringed seals on Texel. The last time was in 2008. The animals were brought to Ecomare and kept separate from the other seals. This was necessary to prevent diseases from spreading. They were released after recovery into the North Sea, far away from the coast.

  • Distribution and habitat
    Distribution of the ringed seal, Ecomare

    Ringed seals live in the Arctic region (Arctic Ocean), the Hudson Bay, the Baltic Sea and the Bering Straits. There are also two sub-species in Finland and Russia, which live in fresh water. A lost ringed seal is occasionally reported in the North Sea.

  • Beaching along the Dutch coast

    When young ringed seals learn to live independently, they can wander off far away. Quite a few of these young animals often end up in the southern North Sea in the summer months. Every once in awhile, these vagrants even swim as far away as Portugal.


    Place and details
    November 1879 Rockanje, sex unknown
    29 July 1889 Zoutkamp, female
    August 1923 Oostvoorne, sex unknown
    July 1957 Texel, sex unknown
    4 July 1968 Texel, sex unknown
    23 August 1972 Breskens, female
    29 July 1972 Rilland-Bath, sex unknown
    25 July 1973 Engelsmanplaat, female
    22 July 1977 Ameland, male
    1 August 1977 Zierikzee, female
    5 August 1977 Holwerd, female
    9 June 1978 Texel, female
    21 July 1979 Schiermonnikoog, female
    18 June 1980 Bergen op Zoom, female
    16 October 1980 Beneden Merwede, female
    18 July 1982 Rockanje, female
    28 July 1982 Oosterhout, female
    13 July 1985 Texel, male
    21 July 1985 Moddergat, male
    25 July 1985 Terneuzen, female
    15 July 1987 Ouddorp, sex unknown
    1 August 1988 Pieterburen, male
    14 July 1990 Breezanddijk, male
    18 July 1990 Texel, female
    7 December 1991 Wassenaar, male
    2 March1993 Zoutelande, sex unknown
    20 July 1994 Schiermonnikoog, female
    31 August 1994 Grevelingenmeer, male
    April 1996 Schiermonnikoog
    1999 Terschelling, young animal, sex unknown
    2002 Terschelling
    2007 Wierum, male
    August 2008 Texel, young female, alive
    31 July 2011 South side of Vlieland, young female, alive
    6 October 2013 Vlieland, young female
    27 August 2015 canal in Utrecht, young female
    Source: van Bree, 1996 and reports from Seal Sanctuary Pieterburen