Cryptic Grey Seal Sites West Donegal

By putting together my knowledge of grey seal pupping sites with Conor’s degree in Zoology from NUI Galway, we were able to get our research notes published in this years edition of The Irish Naturalist Journal  https://irishnaturalistsjournal.org/ 

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Entrance to a well sheltered grey seal breeding site

Little is known about the grey seal cryptic breeding sites dotted along the Donegal coastline and accompanying offshore Islands, and Conor and I thought it was about time that we changed that. Cryptic grey seal habitats are obscure sites (sea caves in this case) that are very difficult to access and observe, and as a consequence, are often missed altogether during seal population surveys. It has been reported that up to 45% of all seal pups birth are from cave sites,( Stringell et al.) so our research could provide valuable unsampled data.  

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Seal pup development at a cryptic site

We have so far identified several cryptic grey seal sites along the Donegal coastline, and we’re looking forward to investigating and researching all these sites in the future. Hopefully, we’ll be able to produce some more useful data soon! 

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Navigating through a dark sea cave

 

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