Tuesday, 21 November 2017

21st of November: Pup numbers double in one week

Seven days after our last Grey Seal count, pup numbers have more than doubled: with 816 born in the last week, there have now been 1,546 pup births. Today's count also recorded 706 bulls and 1,849 cows. That's a total of over 4,000 seals currently on Blakeney Point...

                     Bulls   Cows   Pups

     Zone 1      272      575      653
     Zone 2      149      559      361
     Zone 3      205      484      339
     Zone 4        57      226      192
     Zone 7        22          5          0
     Zone 8          1          0          0
     Total         706    1849    1546

The data shows that seals are spreading further east, having crept into zones 7 and 8 since last week's count. See map below.
Zone 1: Beach west of Gap [no access 25th Oct - 25th Jan]
Zone 2: Far/Middle/Near Point and Stanley's Cockle Bight [no access 25th Oct - 25th Jan]
Zone 3: Beach between Gap and Long Hills [no access 25th Oct - 25th Jan]
Zone 4: Yellow dunes, Great Sandy Low and Beach Way [no access 25th Oct - 25th Jan]
Zone 5: Grey dunes and Landing Ridge
Zone 6: Long Hills and Yankee Ridge
Zone 7: Beach east of Long Hills
Zone 8: Ridge east of Long Hills including the Hood

Bull following a fight (Carl Brooker)

Pup about to suckle from its mother (Carl Brooker)

Snoozing pup (Carl Brooker)

The very early pups, born in October, have now moulted and will soon be starting to disperse. Pups are fed on their mothers rich milk for up to three weeks before being left entirely to their own devices. Most weaned pups tend to laze around on the Point for a couple of weeks, before their instincts lead them to the sea to begin fishing for themselves.

- Ajay, Ranger

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