National Animal of Bouvet Island

National Animal of Bouvet Island

The gray seal is the national animal of Bouvet Island. These animals have winged feet and spend most of their adult life in water. Male seals are called bulls, females are called cows while their young ones are called pups. Before pups grow their waterproof fur, they spend their time on land. They have four pairs of flippers, one in front and the other one at the back. Bouvet Island’s national animal is very intelligent and has been used in various conservation programs. They are also noisy animals and can easily get agitated.


Grey seals are found in all major water bodies, from the arctic and Antarctic to the tropical waters. The estimated number of grey seals is between 130,000 and 140,000 (Seal conservation society). Many organizations have called in asking for permission to start commercial hunting of the national animal of Bouvet Island and experiment selling their products in Canada.

Facts about the National Animal of Bouvet Island (Grey Seal)

  • Common name: Grey seal
  • Scientific name: Halichoerus grypus
  • Habitat: Aquatic
  • Diet: fish
  • Average lifespan: 25-35 years
  • Average weight: males- 233-310kgs; females-155kgs
  • Average length: males-2m; females-1.8m
  • Gestation period: 11.5 months

These animals spend about 20% of their life on land but the rest in water. They are always busy while in water trying to find food for themselves and perhaps playing. It is because of them being busy most of their time that they were declared the national animal symbol of Bouvet Island. Adult grey seals have 2 thick layers of fur and a thick layer of fat which protects it from cold while at sea.

The intelligence of the grey seal enables it to differentiate its pups from those that do not belong to it. This intelligence qualifies the grey seal as the national symbol of Bouvet Island.