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708 seals are spotted in Estuary
8:10am Tuesday 27th August 2013 in News
AN INCREDIBLE 708 seals have been spotted in the Thames Estuary in the first count by air, land and sea.
The survey by the Zoological Society of London tallied the number of grey and harbour seals along the Thames.
The society’s conservation scientist, Joanna Barker, said: “Recently, we have seen a drastic decline in harbour seals across Scotland, with populations almost disappearing in some areas. Reasons behind the decline are unclear, but other seal populations may also be vulnerable.
“This broad approach will produce the first complete count of harbour seals in the Thames and South East coast, so we can accurately monitor the species to better understand and protect them.”
The timing of the survey coincides with the annual seal moult, when harbour seals shuffle on to sandbanks to shed their coats and grow a new layer in time for winter months. Seals on land are easier to spot, providing the ideal opportunity to count them.
Stephen Mowat, the society’s Thames projects manager said: “The harbour seal population in South East England is the least understood in the country. As well as the survey, we are urging members of the public to report sightings of seals and other marine mammals to us at www.zsl.org /inthethames”
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