Thousands of wild animals are killed, injured and orphaned throughout Ireland as a direct consequence of human activities. Assisting wild animals which have been injured or orphaned is an important part of respecting and valuing our environment. That’s why Seal Rescue Ireland supports the rescue, treatment and rehabilitation of animals so that they can be returned to the wild.

At Seal Rescue Ireland, we have a unique opportunity to investigate the welfare of our country’s wild seal population.

Current Research:

 - Sampling:

We take a hair follicle, cheek cell swab and scat sample from each seal.

These are sent to Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology for genetic analysis exploring how the populations of Irish seals interact and breed. This is a long term project that we hope can tell us a lot about the Irish seals. 

 - Tagging:

Our seals our now tagged! Each seal has a coloured plastic tag that is stamped with SRI, our phone number and unique identification number.

Male pups are tagged on the left back flipper and females on the right.

Apart from learning how our seals fair after release and we hope to be able to see how far our seals can travel. We already know that grey seals are not long distance migrants but we would like to explore this in more detail.

If you happen to come across a seal please let us know if you think you have seen our tags, noting the colour and which flipper!

Remember, while it would be great to get the identification number, if you can read it, you are too close to the seal.

Future Aims: 

In the future we aim to be involved in disease monitoring so that we can hopefully anticipate any form of epidemic that may affect seals. Furthermore, seals can store contaminants in their tissues which may also alert us to anything untoward in the seas that may be harmful to the seals as well as our own health and the health of the environment in general.

Please note that we will only be involved in research that is non-invasive and the welfare and safety of the seals will always be held in the highest regard.

If you are interested in learning more about research at Seal Rescue Ireland or would like to get involved please be sure to contact us.