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Northeastern Naturalist


We counted the numbers of seals hauled out at low tide on two near-shore ledges in a protected cove in Casco Bay, Gulf of Maine a minimum of 12 times per month, for four years starting in August 1997. The highest mean monthly counts were in August (molting season) and the lowest in either January or February. Counts during pupping season (May and June) were lower than during April or July. As no mother-pup pairs were observed, these ledges are molting but not pupping ledges. Time-series analysis revealed no overall trend in the number of seals present. but did show a decreasing trend in the fraction of days each month that seals were present. Further observations are needed to determine if this trend is continuing and if it is present in other locations on the Maine coast.


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