|One seal pup, ready to be tagged|
|Newly born and counted!|
|Curious - seal pup taking interest in the rangers|
Tuesday 9th October comments: So, the first Grey Seal pup count of the year is complete! The team all headed out for the first time across the islands on Sunday, scouring the land for any sign of white fluff. Our preliminary count was eleven births, with eight survivors. Unfortunately the mortality rate on seal colonies can be very high, usually standing at around 40-50% on the Farnes. The reason for this is simple. North Sea weather! The islands are quite low lying and any storms at this time of year can mean bad news for our noisy neighbours.
However, it’s not all doom and gloom! Our first pup Rocky is still fighting fit and starting to moult his first coat. Soon he’ll be ready to take the plunge into the briny depths and discover what being a Grey Seal is all about (mainly fishing, sleeping and lazing in the sun). It will be a while before Rocky comes back to the islands to breed, with Bull seals usually able to defend a territory at around ten years old. It’s hard to think that this fluffy white pup will turn into an angry Bull seal weighing up to a quarter of a ton! Until then, good luck out there Rocky, we’re all rooting for you!
We’re still waiting for our Seal Tours to begin, with this depending on our first pup being born on Staple Island, so keep following the blog and twitter for news, when we know, you’ll know.