Harbour Seal

Phoca vitulina

Illustration by Ella C. & Ava D.

Harbour Seals are very widespread in the northern hemisphere. They can be found all along the west coast of North America, including British Columbia, and often live in small groups. These seals can commonly be seen bobbing their heads out of the water from Ambleside and Dundarave beaches in West Vancouver. Harbour Seals normally range in colour from light grey to brown and often also have spots. Harbour Seals weigh about 22 lbs when they are born, and grow to be up to 180 lbs as adults. They actually double their weight in the first month after they are born; this is because seal milk is extremely high in fat. As they get older, Harbour Seals commonly eat fish – salmon, sculpins, rockfishes and other small shallow water-dwelling fish. Harbour Seals are part of the pinniped family, which are marine mammals that have fin-feet. Other members of the pinniped family are walruses and sea lions.

Information from E-Fauna BC: https://linnet.geog.ubc.ca/efauna/Atlas/Atlas.aspx?sciname=Phoca%20vitulina