Ringed seals have a circumpolar distribution throughout the Arctic Basin including records of individuals near the North Pole (Rice 1998); arctic ringed seals also range widely into adjacent seas being found in the Bering Sea, Chukchi Sea, Beaufort Sea, Canadian Arctic Archipelago, Hudson Bay, Hudson Strait, Davis Strait, and Greenland, Barents, White, Kara, Laptev and East Siberian Seas, and they extend into some lake and river systems in Northern Canada (Heide-Jørgensen and Lydersen 1989). Separate populations occur in the Baltic Sea, Lake Ladoga in the Russian Federation, Lake Saimaa in Finland, and the Sea of Okhotsk south to northern Japan (Frost and Lowry 1981, Reeves 1998). Extralimital records for ringed seals extend far south on both sides of the Atlantic, to New Jersey in the west and Portugal in the east. In the Pacific vagrants have been recorded south to the Zhejiang in China and southern California (Rice 1998).
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