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Group seal

Fauna - Environment - Saguenay : An exceptional fjord!

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The sea mammals | The beluga | The harbour seal | The minke whale | Other sea mammals

The harbour seal: In what harbour???

Nicknamed "sea wolfe" (loup marin), the harbour seal is found on the East coast of the Atlantic. Unlike the other species of seals, there are fears that their numbers in the Saint Lawrence may be dropping. Living in the Saint Lawrence estuary, the harbour seal is cause for concern even if we don't know their exact numbers and present health status. Because of a lack of information The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) had to declare their status as uncertain.


It is the only seal species residing in the Saint Lawrence on a permanent basis. It's been seen in the Saguenay fjord as far as the fresh water areas. When in water, it is generally a loner. It is only on beaching sites that it will assemble in small groups. The Cap Trinité sector is the only known beaching area in the Saguenay. Another was reported in the Saint Louis Island sector but the seals are no longer seen there. Human activities seem to have influenced the choice of their beaching sites. (Mike Hammill, Maurice-Lamontagne Institute, personal communication).

Some thirty years ago, Boulva and McLaren (1979) took an inventory of around 100 harbour seals in the Saguenay. In the past few years, the Marine Park of the Saguenay Saint Lawrence team reported that about twenty + harbour seals were observed in the Saguenay (Lavigueur and al., 1993). To draw up their inventories, these two teams worked with different methods. However, their results help in sustaining the aim to protect this small population of the Saguenay.

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