First Confirmed Record of Grey Seals in Greenland

  • Aqqalu Rosing-Asvid
  • Jonas Teilmann
  • Rune Dietz
  • Morten Tange Olsen
Keywords: grey (gray) seal, Halichoerus grypus, distribution, species range, northward expansion, climate change


The presence of grey seals has never before been confirmed in Greenland, but on 30 August 2009 a grey seal was photographed near shore in Southeast Greenland (59˚53′ N, 43˚28′ W). The seal was observed within a small group of islands that hosts a harbour seal colony. The following day, a seal that might be a young grey seal was photographed at the same location. Information from Inuit hunters suggests that grey seals periodically visit Greenland, but the pictures taken in summer 2009 are the first solid proof of this seal species in Greenland.