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Physiology and Health of Cooperating Arctic Seals (PHOCAS)
February, 27th 2017
The PHOCAS—Physiology and Health of Cooperating Arctic Seals—program is a collaborative research effort between Long Marine Laboratory at the University of California Santa Cruz and the Alaska SeaLife Center. This research program capitalizes on a unique resource of trained seals living in human care at both facilities to collect a variety of species-specific health and physiological data that are currently difficult or impossible to collect in the wild. The aim of this joint research program is to quantitatively measure and report currently unknown baseline health and physiological parameters as well as define a suite of physiological thresholds for three ice-dependent phocids: ringed (Pusa hispida), bearded (Erignathus barbatus), and spotted (Phoca largha) seals, that occur throughout Alaska in Arctic and subArctic regions.