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BROCHURE RACK

Seal numbers increasing in Thames Estuary

04/09/2014 08:55:11
news/2010_jan/grey_seal_thames_story

Grey seal

The number of seals in the Greater Thames Estuary have increased by nearly a third, from 685 to 938 individuals since last year, the Zoological Society of London has reported.

The Greater Thames Estuary is home to harbour seals and grey seals and for three days conservationists and volunteers have covered more than 4,000km² by boat, air and foot between Deal in Kent and Felixstowe in Suffolk, to help the ZSL with their survey.

 The timing of the population survey coincides with the annual seal moult where harbour seals shuffle onto sandbanks to shed their coat and grow a new layer of fur ready for the winter.

ZSL conservationist Joanna Barker said: “With harbour seal numbers remaining stable and grey seal numbers more than doubling since last year, the result of this year’s survey is a good indicator of the health of the Greater Thames Estuary.

“Grey seal numbers are increasing along the East coast, so it’s not surprising that more are moving into the estuary. However, it is important that we use the same methodology to complete the survey every year in order to identify these changes, and investigate how this affects the harbour seal population.”

Next year, in June, ZSL hopes to complete its first harbour seal pup count to identify the species’ favoured locations for breeding and raising their young.

 


 

Harbour Seal

Grey Seal

All seals

2014 Total Count

489

449

938

2013 Total Count

482

203

685

2014 Harbour Seal Population Estimate

679

 

 

2013 Harbour Seal Population Estimate

669

 

 

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