WhaleNet Reports
"Bubba"
Hooded Seal

Harbor Seal

Satellite Tagging Observation Reports

by
Greg Early
Edgerton Research Laboratory
New England Aquarium


Name- "Bubba"
Seal Tag

FEBRUARY, 2000

2/28/00 - More location data from Friday on. It appears that after nearly two weeks in the same location "Bubba" has moved to a new location roughly twenty miles to the east. The last few fixes place him in a location where the bottom depth appears to be very similar to the location he just left. In the next few days (as long as we continue to get locations) we should see if he remains in this new location or continues on.

Quick tip: If "Bubba" begins to move north and east (where the home range of hooded seals is), his Latitude numbers should increase, and his longitude numbers should decrease. Look at the list of numbers to get a quick idea if he is moving in that general direction.....

2/24/00 - No new news is strange news (or something like that). "Bubba" remains in roughly the same location. He still appears to be circling within an area of about 150 square miles, about 60 miles offshore of his release point. He has been in this same general area for about 10 days now, longer in one spot than we have seen other hooded seals. This is quite interesting, considering most of the other hoods we have tracked appear to be capable of traveling over 50 miles per day in a straight line when they want to.

2/23/0 - More location data from "Bubba". Still hanging around the same general location. It appears that h4e is continuing to stay near a small patch of deep (around 250 meters) water about 60 miles off of the coast. The locations appear to be clustering around areas of a depth of around 180 meters deep. This is a bit hard to interpret, due to the uncertain accuracy of many of the locations (see the LC numbers...), but so far he appears to be staying very close to that particular depth profile. A quick check of some Sea Surface Temperature maps did not show anything remarkable in this area.

In case you are wondering.... here is a bit of weather information from the general area: This information comes from the National Data Buoy Center (at : http://seaboard.ndbc.noaa.gov/station_page.phtml?$station=44005). Buoy 44005 is the closest buoy station to "Bubba" (at 42.90 N 68.94 W (4253'46"N 6856'56"W)) or (about 20 miles south and east of his position). A second buoy (44007) is located west of "Bubba", near shore, (about 50 miles away). Roughly in the location of the first location data point we received from "Bubba".

2/22/00 - New day same (general) location. This is getting to the longest time we have recorded a hooded seal staying in one general area. Keep in mind, other seal we have tracked around this time (Stephanie), was starting to head north around this time.

As for the tracking. We are getting quite a few usable locations each day. This is good considering that "Bubba" is relatively far south (satellite coverage is better the farther north the tag goes). And the tag is only transmitting for part of the day (to conserve batteries).

Interesting.

Hopefully, more to come...

2/21/00 - More locations from "Bubba". It appears that he has moved a bit farther to the east, putting him about 80 miles east of the N.H. Maine border (now about 60 miles offshore from his release location). Compared to other hooded seals we have tracked he is showing far more interest in staying in the Gulf of Maine (most of the hooded seals we have tracked would be several hundred miles away from their release point within one week). He appears to have moved a bit east of the deep water he was over, but is staying over depths of at least 180 meters deep.

2/18/00 - He still appears to be hanging close to some deep (@ 200-250 meters) water near Jefferies ledge...around 40-50 milles off the coast of Southern Maine.

2/14/00 - Locations on "Bubba".

After a bit of an interruption over the weekend we appear to be back on line again.

He still appears to be hanging around a deep water gully near Jefferies Ledge (east of Cape Ann and southern Maine). About 50 miles offshore. No messages Sunday or today (monday).

The good news is that this is getting very interesting (having said that I am now probably jinxing myself). "Bubba" remains about 50 miles offshore (east of southern Maine). His locations appear to be clustering around depth areas of about 200-250 meters deep. Although we have no way to tell how deep he is diving, other hooded seals of his size that we have tracked with dive recorders have spent only a small amount of their time diving as deep as the bottom in these areas.

"Bubba" is also the first hooded seal that we have tracked that has remained even this close to shore following release for this long.

Hopefully we will be able to see if these trends continue. (keep your fingers crossed)

2/9/00 - The first few days of locations.

These put "bubba" a bit south and east...about 40 miles or so off shore. So far things are looking good for the tag. It will be very interesting to see if he stays in the area, or moves off. So far he seems not to be heading away at any great speed...

Bubba 1
  • "Bubba" Satellite Chart A
    Closer view of release.
  • Bubba and..
    (Click on an image to enlarge)


    More seal data is available in the current WhaleNet Listserv. Sort and go to FIND for "Seal Data", "Bubba" entries.
    Map of "Bubba's" travels.

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