Dan Jarvis Dan´s Conservation Blog
The Seal Movement
29th June 2012
Dan Jarvis

Summer is (possibly) coming, and for grey seals that generally means it´s time to get on the move! In South West England we have a few colonies around the coast.

Cornwall Seal Group is a local volunteer-run organisation that surveys some of these colonies on a regular basis and is also happy to receive public sightings and photos for their records.
Conservation Blog
Images of seals, particularly their neck markings, can be used for photo-identification and many seals have been recorded over the years returning to the same colonies during the same season each year.

There seem to be three distinct seal seasons: moulting (mostly January to April); summer movement (May to August); and breeding/pupping (mainly September to December).

Many seals are only around at a colony for one of these seasons, occasionally two, but no seals have ever been recorded at the same site throughout all three of them. So where do they go? Put simply, we don´t know! Being mobile creatures it is difficult to track them, especially when they travel between sites. However, recent increases in survey effort and linking with other organisations has revealed some of them to be spending time at a variety of locations around the SW coast and much further afield - with positive identifications now made with Devon, the Isles of Scilly, Wales and France.

It is also strongly suspected that they go to Ireland as well, but this has yet to be proven. So why do the seals make these massive journeys during the different seasons? Well, we don´t know that yet either! Although we can often see them swimming around our coast, we still know very little about them, which is why every sighting could be important to organisations like Cornwall Seal Group !

Dan´s Conservation Blog was issued by the Cornish Seal Sanctuary
For more information, please contact Dan Jarvis on 01326 221 361

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