Habitat Type: Marine
Comments: Ice floes are used by all individuals in the winter, as well as by adult females and young in the summer. Require ice thicknesses of 60 cm or more to support their weight (Richard 1990). First-year ice with natural openings such as leads and polynyas is preferred; seldom found in areas of extensive, unbroken ice (Fay 1982). Males use beaches of remote islets and coastal headlands for summer resting and molting sites. Generally does not haul out on shores with permanent human occupation. Generally occurs in shallow waters (less than 100 m deep) (Richard and Campbell 1988). Young are born on ice floes. Sediment in feeding areas is typically composed of soft, fine sand (Richard 1990).