Seal pups live on webcam


This video from the USA says about itself:

A harbor seal (Phoca vitulina) mother giving birth to a pup and their first swim. Footage was taken at a harbor seal rookery in southern Puget Sound, Washington during observations in 2004 under NMFS MMPA research permit # 782-1702. Video by Dyanna Lambourn, edited by Caitlin McIntyre, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Dutch conservation organisation Het Groninger Landschap reports today about harbour seals living in the Dollard estuary.

At the moment, there are about fifty seal mothers with pups there. You can see them full screen on a webcam, here.

Seal swims from Dutch Texel to Cornwall


This video says about itself:

22 January 2015

Stranded Seal Pups are released into the wild in Cornwall.

The National Seal Sanctuary at Gweek has let six of the creatures go this morning.

They include Superman, Wonderwoman and Bruce Wayne.

Translated from Ecomare museum on Texel island in the Netherlands:

Victor seen in Cornwall – 06-02-15

Not only gray seals are travelers, harbour seals also explore the North Sea. This has been proven by harbor seal Victor. He surprised staff at Ecomare by making the crossing to England. Victor arrived last year on July 11 at Ecomare as an orphan in the shelter and was equipped with a chip and a flipper marker. On November 7 he was released in the Wadden Sea. For three weeks he has by now resided along the Cornish coast at Par Beach, and he has become a local celebrity.

Traveler

Possibly Victor has explored much more than just the beach of Cornwall. In the River Fowey in Cornwall, a bit further, spotted a harbour seal was spotted as well. Presumably this was Victor as well. So, a real traveler! Unfortunately Victor on Par Beach could not rest completely undisturbedly. Hikers with dogs sometimes came too close to the young seal, thereby disturbing him. Subsequently, members of the British Divers Marine Life Rescue caught Victor on 2 February.

Released while healthy

With only a small wound on the flipper, presumably caused by a dog bite, Victor appeared otherwise healthy and he was released the same day. This time a bit further away, so hopefully he’ll find a little more peace. On this site there are not only 10 gray seals, but also an adult harbour seal.

Adelie penguins on webcam this week


This video says about itself:

Adelie Penguins of Paulet Island, Antarctica

30 dec. 2011

Paulet Island, located near the Antarctic Peninsula in the northwest Weddell Sea, is home to more than 100,000 breeding pairs of Adelie penguins. The island is a small circular volcanic cone, about one mile in diameter with rocky slopes rising more than 1,100 feet above the shoreline.

Cobble beaches are favorite napping locations for Weddell seals, which you’ll see in this video.

Adelie penguins pop in and out of the surf as they return to shore throughout the day. They spend some time drying off and preening on the upper beaches before making their way to the nesting locations. In some cases, this is a rather difficult journey over loose scree slopes to the uppermost ledges of the volcanic cone.

Snow fields are used by the penguins to travel back and forth from a freshwater lake at the center of the island. This lake was once used by members of Dr. Otto Nordenskjold‘s 1901-1904 Swedish Antarctic Expedition to survive being stranded on the island. A stone hut and burial marker remain today, but the hut is now prime roosting territory for Adelie penguins.

From the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in the USA today:

This Week Only: Watch Penguins Live in Antarctica

Don’t miss this live visit to an Adelie Penguin colony in Antarctica! We’ll be hosting a Q&A with an oceanographer and a penguin scientist at Palmer Station, Antarctica. They’ll take you on a virtual tour of a nearby penguin island, and you’ll be able to ask questions via live chat for the scientists to answer.

We’re hosting two 1-hour live sessions: the first is on Thursday, Jan. 29, at 1:00 p.m. Eastern time. The second is on Saturday, Jan. 31, at 11:00 a.m. Eastern time. To watch, just bookmark this link and join us live for one or both sessions!

Rare black seal pup in rehabilitation


This 2008 Dutch video is about a black harbour seal pup in the seal sanctuary in Pieterburen then.

Translated from RTV Noord in the Netherlands:

Friday, January 23, 2015

The seal sanctuary in Pieterburen on Friday admitted a very special seal pup.

The seal has melanism, which means that it has a completely black fur. The animal was rescued by fishermen.

Rare

It is very rare that a seal has melanism. Since the rehabilitation center in Pieterburen started only eight animals with melanism were brought in.

British seals and whales news


This video from England says about itself:

28 January 2013

Record numbers of grey seal pups have been born on Blakeney Point Nature Reserve in Norfolk, taking the size of the colony to possibly more than 1,000 pups for the first time.

By Peter Frost in Britain:

More seals to see by the seaside

Friday 23rd January 2015

Thought our flippered friends were vanishing from the east coast? Don’t be so sealy, cautions Peter Frost

Mother nature certainly hasn’t lost her talent both for fighting back and surprising those who study and marvel at her mysterious ways.

In December 2013 I reported in these very pages that the storms and tidal surges on the east coast had devastated the seal colonies that come to pup and breed over the winter months.

It seemed clear that numbers would be down and I, alongside experts, predicted that it would take years for the numbers to grow again to sustainable numbers.

How wrong we all were! This winter the seal colony at Blakeney Point on the north Norfolk coast has seen record numbers of both visiting adult seals and pups born on the beaches and dunes.

National Trust wardens have counted a record 2,426 pups born at Blakeney this year. Including the adults, this has bought the total Blakeney grey seal population to something approaching 5,000.

This means that in just 14 years the grey seal population has increased a hundred fold.

Twenty years ago here you might have found a handful of common seals and hardly any grey seals at all. Now it has become the biggest breeding site for the animals in England.

To prevent walkers disturbing the seals, National Trust rangers and volunteers have fenced off part of the beach and dunes and introduced viewing areas. Still, the best way to see the seals is by tourist boat from nearby Blakeney or Morston harbours.

If you come across a seal pup on a beach walk please do not to try to pick it up or get too close. Although they may look like they have been abandoned, the mum is almost always nearby. It can be very dangerous to get between a mother seal and her pup.

This year the seals will be even easier to watch and study as they are starring in the BBC’s Winterwatch programme. The programme will include unique footage shot at night using thermal imaging techniques. This will show the seal pups actually being born, which normally happen in the hours of darkness.

The programme will also show remarkable footage as the huge alpha male bulls battle on the sands for the right to pass on their genes and mate with the females — who come into heat just a day or two after giving birth to last season’s pup.

Bulls typically measure nearly 7ft (2.1m) long and weigh up to a quarter of a ton (250kg), but may be even bigger.

Cows are always much smaller, usually 5-6ft (1.6-2m) long and perhaps only half the weight of a big bull. Grey seals come in many colours from grey to reddish brown.

The cuddly and almost unbelievable cute pups however are almost all snowy white. They suckle the rich fatty milk from their mothers. Forget your semi-skimmed, seal milk is 50 per cent fat. The pups suckle for just three weeks and then they head out to sea to fend for themselves.

The bulls fight and also try to frighten other bulls by slapping their huge stomachs on the sands. The noise and shock waves are certainly impressive.

Other seal beaches on England’s east coast have seen record pupping too. In the Farne Islands off the Northumberland coast, 1,651 pups were born this year — the highest total since 1971.

A marine mammal even bigger than the giant bull grey seals was washed up on a Cornish beach earlier this month. Indeed this huge beast made the seals look positively tiny.

The corpse of huge fin whale was discovered on Wanson Beach near Bude early in January. Marine biologists established that the mammal measured over 65ft (20m) and the lower jaw bone alone was over 16ft (5m) long.

Fin whales are the second largest whale species after the blue whale, and can grow to up to 90ft (30m) in length and weigh between 40 and 80 tons.

As solitary mammals, fin whales travel the world’s oceans and are still hunted for their meat by Iceland, Greenland and Japan.

Baleen Whales Hear Through Their Bones – Understanding how baleen whales hear has posed a great mystery to marine biologists: here.

First Danish grey seal pup born since 500 years ago


This video is called BBC Wildlife Magazine – Grey Seals.

Translated from Ecomare museum on Texel island in the Netherlands:

18-01-15

For the first time in 500 years, a gray seal pup was born in the Danish Wadden Sea. Just before the end of 2014 at a secluded sandbank a mother with a youngster was seen during a count from an airplane. For several years already, adult gray seals swam in the Danish Wadden Sea, but there is still no permanent colony. And yet since the eighties of the last century this seal species is back in the Netherlands and in Germany and propagates there.

Extinct

The gray seal was until the 10th century the most common species of seal in the Wadden Sea. But there was severe hunting pressure on them and in the 16th century the population had disappeared.

Entangled seal saved by sailors


A sailor cuts the entangled seal's rope, photo by Bert Meerstra

Translated from Ecomare museum on Texel island in the Netherlands:

Seal freed from rope – 09-01-15

It was a resolute action by the crew of the ship Krukel. They managed to free a young harbour seal of a rope which had got stuck around its neck. Despite the fact that the rope was pretty tight the seal was not injured, allowing them to release it immediately after cutting the rope. This time things went well but unfortunately waste at sea frequently produces problems for wild animals.