Males are thought to be polygynous and probably hold underwater territories.
Mating System: polygynous
The female ringed seal matures reproductively at about 6 years of age and may bear one pup per year (Kingsley 1990). Most mating occurs in late April and early May, which is within one month of parturition (Frost and Lowry 1981). Although mating occurs in May, the blastocyst does not implant until August or September. The gestation period is approximately 240 days (Kingsley 1990). Ringed seals require solid ice for pupping, which makes the pups more vulnerable to predators.
Breeding interval: Females generally breed once yearly.
Breeding season: Most mating occurs in late April and early May.
Average number of offspring: 1.
Average gestation period: 240 days.
Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female): 6 years.
Key Reproductive Features: iteroparous ; seasonal breeding ; gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); viviparous ; delayed implantation
Parental Investment: precocial ; pre-fertilization (Provisioning, Protecting: Female); pre-hatching/birth (Provisioning: Female, Protecting: Female); pre-weaning/fledging (Provisioning: Female)