European Tagged Seal Network
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A GIS based spatial and temporal predictive model of grey seal pup stranding risk and variable identification
Kellie Heney (NUI Galway)
Common Seal Stress Analysis Using Heart Rate Monitor
Bronwyn Jeffers ( University of York)
- Applying HR monitor causes minimal stress with maximum result.
- Different feeding methods cause different levels of stress.
- Drain covers cause distress measures taken to reduce noise around kennels and ICU.
Wild Seal Identification Project with Cornwall Seal Group Research Trust.
Summary: “Photo ID is one of the most powerful research tools for studying seals. It is a non invasive technique revealing information about lots of different aspects of their biology and ecology and ultimately enabling the life stories of individual seals to be built up over time.”- CSRGT
We add all our seals to a seasonal identification catalogue, which increases probability of them being identified if they are spotted around the UK or Ireland. CSGRT have so far spotted one of our pups with a blue flipper tag, we look forward to developing our wild seal identification programme in the near future.
Photo credit: Gerhard Horn
Microplastics in Diet of Rehabilitation Seals
Summary: “This study investigates the presence of microplastics in common seal (Phoca vitulina) scat collected from Seal Rescue Ireland and the presence of microplastics in the herring (Clupea herengus) fed to these seals to investigate the relationship between microplastics in the two species and their transfer across trophic levels. The scat samples were sieved and then chemically digested using potassium hydroxide to eliminate any biological material; similarly the herring gastrointestinal tracts were digested. The microplastics present were described, measured and quantified. Thirty-one of the 40 (77.5%) scat samples investigated contained at least one microplastic, with a total of 66 microplastics identified. 100% of the herring sampled (n=9) contained microplastics, with 73 microplastics identified. Microplastic fibres were more common than fragments, while a total of six colours of microplastics were identified. There was no statistical difference in the median length of microplastics found in the scat and herring samples. The findings suggest that trophic transfer is a potential pathway of microplastic ingestion in common seals but further studies are needed to confirm this.” – G. Keogh
Research previously conducted at SRI:
- Endocrine response to stress in captivity – Michael Zatrak et al.
- Common seal analysis of successful rehabilitation procedures -Inês Costa
- Common seal analysis of stranding events and weather – Rhianna Kay
- What can rehab seals tell us about wild seal populations? – Lauren Himmelreich
- Investigating rehabilitation time for seals of various ailments – Alison Butterworth