Habitat Type: Marine
Comments: Coastal waters to about 10 miles offshore, bays, harbors, coastal rivers, lakes. Most common in protected areas such as bays or inlets, much less numerous along simple open coastlines. Some frequently occur in freshwater bodies connected to the ocean. Resident year-round in freshwater in Lacs des Loups Marins (Quebec; Smith, 1996 COSEWIC report) and possibly in Lake Iliama (Alaska). Rests on isolated mudbanks, rocky or sandy shores, intertidal ledges, reefs, islands; sometimes piers and log rafts; also on ice in some areas (Scheffer 1958, Boulva and McLaren 1979, Johnson and Jeffries 1977, Burns and Gol'tsev 1984, Hoover 1988).
Pups are born on shore, often in an intertidal area; secluded sites and areas beyond strong wave action.