[MARMAM] Mobile Marine Mammals and Marine Protection

Sue Sayer sue at cornwallsealgroup.co.uk
Sun Feb 24 02:44:56 PST 2019

Cornwall Seal Group Research Trust are hugely grateful to our regional network of citizen scientists and our science team of authors, who have made this recent publication possible:
Pinnipeds, people and photo identification: the implications of grey seal movements for effective management of the species

Key words
Citizen science; grey seals; marine management; marine protected areas, mobile marine species; photo ID

Sayer S, Allen R, Hawkes LA, Hockley K, Jarvis D, Witt MJ (2018). Pinnipeds, people and photo identification: the implications of grey seal movements for effective management of the species. Journal
of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 1-10. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0025315418001170

Grey seals (Halichoerus grypus) of the North-east Atlantic are protected at designated European Marine Sites (Special Areas of Conservation, SACs) typically during their reproductive periods and in the UK at Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). As a mobile marine species, grey seals spend other parts of their annual life cycle in non-designated habitat. There is limited information on individual grey seal movements in south-west England. Citizen science photo identification (PID) revealed the movements of 477 grey seals at a regional scale (54 haul-outs up to 230 km apart) for over a decade. Reconstructed movements showed considerable individual variability. Four SACs were linked to up to 18 non-designated sites and two SSSIs in Cornwall were linked to a maximum of 41 non-designated sites. Observations support the value of existing SSSIs at both the well-connected West and North Cornwall sites. Thirteen Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) were visited by grey seals from four SACs and two SSSIs in Cornwall. As a mobile species, grey seals could be included in English MPA management plans. The application of functional linkage from SACs and SSSIs, informed by the movements evidenced in this research, could aid management efforts. This analysis reveals grey seal movements occur across a complex network of interconnected designated and non-designated sites that need to be managed holistically for this species for which the UK has a special responsibility.

We welcome feedback
Please email sue at cornwallsealgroup.co.uk<mailto:sue at cornwallsealgroup.co.uk> for a pdf copy of the paper.

Many thanks

Sue Sayer
Cornwall Seal Group Research Trust (Charity number: 1162936)
Cornwall's internationally renowned, multi award winning seal conservation charity (CSA<https://www.cornwallsealgroup.co.uk/2018/12/csa-award-csgrt/>; CV<https://www.cornwallsealgroup.co.uk/2018/11/we-only-won/>, CMG<https://www.cornwallsealgroup.co.uk/2017/11/award-for-csgrt/>)
Identifying and monitoring local seals and protecting their marine environment

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