The preferred habitat of P. hispida is areas that freeze to stable ice in winter (Kingsley 1990). This species lives in darkness under ice for several months during the year (Hyvarinen 1988). Ringed seals make lairs in the snow and ice for protection from predators and thermal shelter. They can occupy ice covered areas by maintaining breathing holes and breathing through cracks in the ice. Ringed seals make their lairs by rubbing away the ice with their fore flippers (Smith and Stirling 1975).
Habitat Regions: polar ; saltwater or marine
Terrestrial Biomes: icecap
Aquatic Biomes: coastal