WhaleNet Reports
Satellite Tag No.27568

Information Page

Harbor Seal
(Phoca vitulina)



Well looks like this is it for "Quid" [Quid's tag]. The last message we received was on the 17th. This was not unexpected as the battery power in the tag was getting quite low. This tag lasted longer than the three months we expected. I will be working up some of the dive data on all of the last seals and will send a summary of some of the data when it is done.


Basically, "Quid" has moved from the tip of long island down the coast to New Jersey, then back along the coast to the north end of Long Island and for the past week or so has been staying near Riverhead New York. We have passed the three month mark on this tag, which is usually how long the batteries will last for the tag. Hopefully we will get a few more weeks from this tag. I will be checking some of the tag data this week to see how long we might expect transmissions to continue.

We are making plans for another tag to go out in the near future.


Still getting locations, although his tag will only have battery power for several more weeks.


Quid has been near the southern tip of long island (New York Harbor actually), and went missing for three days. This was a surprise until Mike Williamson noticed that one of the last messages could have been up the Hudson River. It looks like what may have happened is that Quid headed up into water that was fresh enough to shut down the tag (the tag senses fresh water as "dry" and will shut itself off, thinking that it is on land). Latest locations have Quid again near the southern tip of long Island.


As you can see we have not gotten a location from Quid since last Wed. Generally when we stop getting signals there are only three posibilities, that the tag fell off, the tag malfunctioned or ran out of battery power, or something happened to the seal. While the tag may have shut down while it is on shore, it is rare that a tag will be off for this long. We will have to see if we hear from Quid later this week, but if we do not get any messages by weeks end, we may not hear more. I will be checking Quid's dive data to see if that gives me any clues, however right now it does not appear that the tag ran out of power. Our last messages from Quid were from on shore near the southern tip of Long Island New York between Staten Island and Bensonhurst Park. Keep your fingers crossed.


This little seal is getting around. Quid has moved south along the coast of Long Island, took a swing to the east out offshore, and back again to a location several miles off of the south tip if Long Island. No signs of hauling out, and not staying in one area very long. Dive data shows some deep dives to 20-30 meters (deep for what these harbor seals have been doing).


Continuing along the coast of Long Island, still appears to be staying offshore. Latest locations show that Quid may be moving to the north again.


Quid has continued south along the east coast of Long Island N.Y. still keeping 7-10 miles offshore.


After spending a week or so near Osterville Mass., and keeping close to shore, Quid has moved south, offshore and as the last location we have is close to the tip of Long Island. This is an area of shallow water and is a location that another tagged harbor seal spent quite a bit of time last winter (Mystic). I will be checking tag information this week to see how Quid's diving behavior has changed, but a quick look shows more deep and long dives during the time spent further offshore.


As you can see we are getting better data for the past few days. Quid appears to be staying close to shore near Osterville Mass. He has been in this location for roughly a week. We have a report that he was seen in the harbor (apparently feeding) on the 23rd.

a note from Michael Moore FYI. (a report of "Quid" I suspect) ======================================================= George Hampson - WHOI biologist, was in West Bay, Osterville this morning Dec 23rd. At 0900 he sighted a harbor seal with an antenna behind its head - he described the pack as the size of a VHF radio. I figured this may be one of your recent releasees. He described it as the friendliest wild seal he had ever seen. Apparently dredging was going on in that area and that he thought the seal was feeding on what was being stirred up.

Thought you might be interested - presumably you can confirm the location if it is still transmitting.


Quid has moved west along the south coast of Cape Cod to a marshy area near Osterville Mass. It appears that Quid has spent some time in the shallow bays and marshes in this area (even hauling out for short times). One message (with a high accuracy probability) was located in an area that MY maps say is 3 meters ABOVE sea level (maybe climbing a hill to get a look around??...just kidding...) This is the same general area "Bristol" visited about a month ago (then again "Bristol" visited almost everywhere along this shore).


Data for the past few days. I will be trying to get some dive information out if possible as I will not be picking up data during the next week or so. So things may get a little patchy here for a while. Basically, though the news is pretty good...all animals are still transmitting.
Getting more signals. His location is still quite near shore, moving west. The most recent locations have put him near the marshes near Osterville, Mass. This is almost the same path taken by "Bristol" a month or so ago.


Released: Newest seal released last week (12/9/98) from Hardings Beach in Chatham, Mass. A young male harbor seal rescued as a pup from Pemaquid Point, Maine (on 5/20/98), treated at the New England Aquarium. He was released from the same location as (and is roughly the same age as )"Bristol" (#27567). 27568 Date : 09.12.98 20:53:17 LC : A IQ : 50 Lat1 : 41.676N Lon1 : 70.024W

  • Data Sheet - "Quid" Satellite Fixes, the Harbor Seal, Tag No. 27568

  • Tracking Map - , Present and Past Locations Map (Release Location).

  • "Quid" Main page

    Seal Notes:

  • Fact Sheet #1 - Information About Pinnipeds

  • Fact Sheet #2 - Information About Harbor Seal Ranges

  • Fact Sheet #3 - Information About Increasing Seal Populations in the Gulf of Maine

  • Fact Sheet #4 - Harbor Seal Information

  • Additional Maps

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