11-18-15 Bearded seal with hair loss - Shishmaref, Alaska, USA
Observation: A young male oogruk (bearded seal) was harvested here and had fur missing from its back, flippers and stomach area. Otherwise it looked healthy. There has been a disease of some kind that has killed many ice seals and bearded seals in the region. Now when we see this it makes us nervous when we are butchering the seals. Oogruk and seals are very important for subsistence in Shishmaref. Sharon Nayukpok, Native Village of Shishmaref, SEP Coordinator, LEO with Mike Brubaker, Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, Director, Center for Climate and Health
Consult: This post has been forwarded to Gay Sheffield with the SeaGrant Marine Advisory Program.
LEO says: Some seals continue to be reported with hair loss. These may be survivors of the illness that sickened many seals since 2011. The most current update on the topic is available from NOAA factsheet.
To see an enlarged version of this image go to flickr