[MARMAM] New publication: Post release monitoring of rehabilitated gray seal pups over larger temporal and spatial scales

Sue Sayer sue at cornwallsealgroup.co.uk
Fri Nov 5 15:00:20 PDT 2021

We have enjoyed a long collaborative effort between partner organisations in wild seal research, rescue and rehabilitation.

As a result we are delighted to announce our collaborative publication on the post release monitoring of grey seals over 19 years.
Huge thanks to all our partners:
British Divers Marine Life Rescue
Cornwall Seal Group Research Trust (also known as the Seal Research Trust)
The Cornish Seal Sanctuary
RSPCA West Hatch Wildlife Hospital.

Sayer, S., Allen, R., Bellman, K., Beaulieu, M., Cooper, T., Dyer, N., Hockin, K., Hockley, K., Jarvis, D., Jones, G. and Oaten, P., Post release monitoring of rehabilitated gray seal pups over large temporal and spatial scales. Marine Mammal Science.

Click here to access our paper https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/mms.12885

Wildlife rescue and rehabilitation is used globally to aid the conservation and welfare of marine species, however, postrelease monitoring is challenging. Here, long-term, regional postrelease monitoring provides feedback for rehabilitation centers for the gray seal (Halichoerus grypus).
Data from 1,094 rehabilitated gray seals over 19 years across the southwest UK were examined to assess postrelease survivorship and the impact of release site on movements and range. Using flipper tags combined with photo identification, 391 rehabilitated seals (35.7%) were re-sighted including 188 seals (17.2%) that were traced back to a specific rehabilitated individual with release data. The maximum monitoring duration for a single rehabilitated seal was 17 years, although the majority (151/188; 80%) were sighted for less than five years and 80/188 (43%) were re-sighted for less than a year. Almost all 188 traced rehabilitated seals (n=176; 93.6%) visited the St Ives Bay Wild Site, yet only half had been released at the adjacent St Ives Bay Release Site.
Rehabilitated seals had similar dispersal patterns to their wild conspecifics but over a smaller area. Once released, rehabilitated animals face the same threats as their wild counterparts.

Email seals at cornwallsealgroup.co.uk<mailto:seals at cornwallsealgroup.co.uk> if you have any questions or to request a copy.

Many thanks
Sue Sayer

Cornwall needs Marine Rangers: Research Connect Inspire Conserve.
Sue Sayer
Seal Research Trust
Est. Cornwall 2000

Aka Cornwall Seal Group Research Trust (Charity number: 1162936)
Cornwall's internationally renowned, multi award winning seal conservation charity
Identifying and monitoring local seals and protecting their marine environment

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