Climate change

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Ringed seal

The ringed seal depends heavily on ice for most aspects of its life cycle, using it for mating, birth, pup rearing, moulting, and resting.

The timing of these activities is controlled by the formation and break-up of the ice sheets. However, with the sea ice retreating, ringed seal populations are experiencing increasingly high mortality.

Warmer ocean temperatures are also more favourable for pathogens and parasites, and the rising occurrence of disease is a growing concern.