IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
P. h. botnica is currently showing an increase because of positive trends in one (its primary) breeding site, but there were recent-past population-wide declines, and current declines in some parts of its range. Additionally, climate change is likely to have a negative impact on this subspecies.
P. h. ladogensis has declined dramatically in recent decades. By-catch in fishing gear is the primary cause for the current declines, but climate change impacts are likely to be additive in the near future.
P. h. saimensis – The Saimaa Ringed Seal is a very small population that faces on-going threats from high mortality in fishing gear and virtually complete reproductive failure in recent years due to poor ice conditions within its limited range.
P. h. ochotensis – Ringed Seals in the Sea of Okhotsk have not been censused since the late 1960s. Population numbers and trends are unknown. Population work on this subspecies should be a high priority as climate change impacts are likely to have negative consequences for Ringed Seals in the Sea of Okhotsk.
For the global assessment at the species level, the Arctic Ringed Seals' numerous status and broad distribution leads to the classification of Least Concern for this species. However, given the risks posed by climate change to all Ringed Seal subspecies, including the Arctic Ringed Seals, this species should be reassessed within a decade.
- 1996Lower Risk/least concern