We met the President
On the 21st of February our Executive Director, Melanie Croce, was invited to The Wheel‘s 20th Anniversary celebration. It was held at President Michael D. Higgins residence, Áras an Uachtaráin, in honour of the vital role being played by charities, community and voluntary organisations, and social enterprises, all across Ireland.
Cloudberry, our first Ringed Seal
This little Arctic girl was seen in Co. Kerry on 2nd January and popped up again a week later in Co. Clare; a huge 150 km swim! Thanks to our amazing team of volunteers, we were able to rescue and take her into our care. Being our first ever encounter with a ringed seal, we are in contact with the Alaska SeaLife Center and Zeehondencentrum Pieterburen, who both have experience rehabilitating them, offering advice on her specific needs.
Whether she was washed here in ocean currents or was born here by a misplaced mother, one thing is for sure, she is far away from her normal home range. Due to Earth’s warming atmospheric and ocean temperatures; ocean currents, acidity and salinity are changing drastically which are disrupting ecosystems across the globe. Compounding environmental feedback loops are resulting in previously unseen natural behaviours to become more prevalent. With massive reductions in Arctic sea ice, it’s becoming more likely that we’ll see foreign individuals like Cloudberry, visiting Ireland looking for safe habitat.
For exclusive content and to support Cloudberry through rehab:
Surveying at Brides Head Beach
If you’ve read the paper or listened to East Coast FM lately, you may have heard our Executive Director, Melanie Croce, talking about Seal Rescue Ireland’s collaborative partnership with Wicklow Co. Council to protect Brides Head Beach, a crucial Grey seal haul out site, during pupping an moulting season (August – April).
Our research and community engagement teams have been there on a weekly basis ever since. They’re collecting public opinion surveys, as well as compiling valuable data regarding the number of seals, entanglements and seals with flipper tags.
We were astounded by the phenomenal public support we have received for the protection of seals transiting through this site. 100% of the 125 people surveyed stated that they would like to see the site protected for at least some of the year and 64% said they would like to see the site protected year round. We’ll continue our public opinion surveys and keep collecting as much data on these EU and Irish protected seals.
Grey seals were almost hunted to extinction in the past. They play a vital role as apex predators in the Irish marine ecosystem, so any safe haul out site is incredibly valuable.
Come down to Brides Head Beach to say hi and see the spectacular views.