Global Range: (>2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)) Usual distribution limited to arctic and subarctic North Atlantic, from Newfoundland to southern Greenland, Svalbard, and Novaya Zemlya (Russia); occasionally south to Portugal and Florida, with additional erratic occurrences far from usual range. Whelping areas include Gulf of St. Lawrence, the "Front" off southeastern Labrador, middle of Davis Strait, and West Ice near Jan Mayen Island (a few pups have been born on the coasts of Norway and Maine). Summer molting areas are in Denmark Strait off southeastern Greenland and on the pack ice of the Greenland Sea north of Jan Mayen Island (Reeves et al. 1992). Occurrences in the northern Gulf of Maine region increased greatly during the 1990s (McAlpine et al. 1999).
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