Wednesday, 10 January 2018

11th of January: Final count

We are delighted to announce that our final Grey Seal pup count for Blakeney Point in the 2017/18 season is 2,700 pups. This is a 12% increase on last season, and the largest increase in three years.


(click graph to enlarge)


This makes it another record year for pup births, with 243 pups more than the previous record season (in 2014/15). As usual, mortality was low, with just 2.5% of pups not making it to the weaning stage.


Snoozing pup (Ian Ward)

Considering this was the greatest number of pups to ever be born on Blakeney Point in a season, we were pleased to only have to rescue one pup. In December, we rescued a newly weaned juvenile that had a nasty head wound. It has been doing well under the RSPCA's care at East Winch, where it has been named Naga.


Big Bull (Ian Ward)


Cow in profile (Ian Ward)

The protective fences will remain up until 25th January to protect the later-born pups that are still reliant on their mother's milk to grow healthy and strong like the 2,000+ that have already been successfully weaned and dispersed into the North Sea. We ask that you please continue to respect these access restrictions. There are currently 199 pups and 59 adults on site.


View from end of boardwalk in December (Ian Ward)


Seal pup distribution 2017/18 (click to enlarge)

As we reach the end of the Grey Seal pupping season, our work focus turns to practical habitat management work elsewhere on the reserve. This includes ditch clearance and reed cutting on the freshwater grazing marshes. We are also commencing our preparation work for the breeding bird season, which will soon be approaching.

Ajay Tegala,
Ranger

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