. The Canadian field-naturalist. 1999 Notes 291. Figure 1. Juvenile Harp Seal, Phoca groenlandica, 11 April 1997, Alma Beach, New Brunswick. Photograph by P. and G. Ackerley. observation dates are too early for young-of-the-year Harbour Seals, which are common in the region and similar in colouration to juvenile Harp Seals. There are only 16 extralimital records for the Harp Seal in the northwest Atlantic over the 148 years previous to 1990. However, probably half of these are suspect or problematical and many are unverifi- able (McAlpine and Walker 1990). Sergeant (1991) notes that Harp Seals

- Image ID: RG1EKE
. The Canadian field-naturalist. 1999 Notes 291. Figure 1. Juvenile Harp Seal, Phoca groenlandica, 11 April 1997, Alma Beach, New Brunswick. Photograph by P. and G. Ackerley. observation dates are too early for young-of-the-year Harbour Seals, which are common in the region and similar in colouration to juvenile Harp Seals. There are only 16 extralimital records for the Harp Seal in the northwest Atlantic over the 148 years previous to 1990. However, probably half of these are suspect or problematical and many are unverifi- able (McAlpine and Walker 1990). Sergeant (1991) notes that Harp Seals
Book Worm / Alamy Stock Photo
Image ID: RG1EKE
. The Canadian field-naturalist. 1999 Notes 291. Figure 1. Juvenile Harp Seal, Phoca groenlandica, 11 April 1997, Alma Beach, New Brunswick. Photograph by P. and G. Ackerley. observation dates are too early for young-of-the-year Harbour Seals, which are common in the region and similar in colouration to juvenile Harp Seals. There are only 16 extralimital records for the Harp Seal in the northwest Atlantic over the 148 years previous to 1990. However, probably half of these are suspect or problematical and many are unverifi- able (McAlpine and Walker 1990). Sergeant (1991) notes that Harp Seals do not now regularly reach Maine, although archaeological evidence indicates that perhaps as recently as 1000 B.P. this species was present along the New England coast (Ritchie 1969; Sanger 1987; Spiess and Hedden 1983). However, Stevick and Fernald (1998) have docu- mented a dramatic increase in the frequency of extralimital records of Harp Seals along the Maine coast since 1994. Between 1994 and 1996 they reported there were 26 Harp Seals identified between the western shore of Penobscot Bay and Calais, Maine. Stevick and Fernald (1998) also reported 25 of the 26 sightings of Harp Seals as juveniles, with seals arriving in Maine mainly during a ten-week period starting in late January and most departing abruptly in early April. Thus, Harp Seals began appearing in Maine at a time consistent with the normal southward movement of juveniles from whelping areas on ice in the Labrador Sea off Newfoundland and in the Gulf of the St. Lawrence. Departure coincided with the onset of the molting period and the northerly spring migration. Harp Seal records for the Bay of Fundy seem to follow a pattern that is different than that reported by Stevick and Fernald (1998). There are few observa- tions and they all occur later in the season, during March and April. The relatively few observations from the Bay of Fundy, when compared to the Gulf of Maine, may be related to seasonal patterns of