A collaboration of coast and countryside organisations on The Lizard Peninsula

Seals never cease to surprise us with their behaviour and this year has been no exception! 
In 2019, we have had seals from a huge area visiting Cornwall arriving from all directions!

On 25th March on one routine survey at a single haul out site in West Cornwall we photographed seals visiting us who have previously been identified in four counties (Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and Somerset) and four nations (England, France, Wales and Ireland). This was the first day that we knowingly had a seal from Ireland…a beautiful rehabbed juvenile male grey seal from Seal Rescue Ireland 200km away.

West Cornwall Sue Sayer juvenile male seal from IrelandWest Cornwall Sue Sayer juvenile male seal from Ireland

Later in the year, we had a mind-blowing discovery from grey seal photos that were sent to us by Lara Howe of the Manx Wildlife Trust. Isle of Man (IOM) seal number 079 turned out to be a seal we have known in Cornwall since 2001!Cornwall IOM seal (Tulip belle) Lara Howe and Sue Sayer

Cornwall IOM seal (Tulip belle) Lara Howe and Sue Sayer

Amazingly this adult female (known as ‘Tulip belle’ to us) has commuted between Cornwall and the IOM multiple times as she has had four pups 450km+ away from us on Manx territory!
Cornwall IOM seal Tulip Belle ID sightings per month CSGRT

Just recently, the lone kayaker, Rupert Kirkwood, sent us photos of a common seal hauled out in the River Fowey. A seal with an unfamiliar tag meant some detective work was required with various rehab organisations. Fortunately, the Seal Rescue ‘WhatsApp’ group came up trumps and within minutes the seal had been identified as Micky! Incredibly this young male seal had only been released in Holland on 03/10/19 and by 05/11/19 had swum to Cornwall, 660km away!

 Fowey seal tag NL672 from Holland - Rupert KirkwoodRupert Kirkwood photo taken on the River Fowey

So, if you spot a sleeping seal, please admire from a distance. It could have just arrived after a very long journey, so leave it to sleep peacefully! Who knew seals in Cornwall are so well travelled!

Quotes and other Seal Group information
Sue Sayer Cornwall Seal Group Research Trust ‘Even after 20 years of research, our seals continue to tell new stories about their movements and behaviour. We need these globally rare marine mammals to positively regulate a balanced and healthy oceanic ecosystem to ensure a thriving economy for us all.’
Sue Sayer Cornwall Seal Group Research Trust
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Jeshua Taucher from Seal Rescue Ireland ‘Our team was ecstatic to hear that CSGRT had documented one of our recently released pups in Cornwall. Seals are incredibly mobile creatures and this sighting has sparked the beginning of a promising collaboration between our organisations. It is fantastic to know there are eyes on the coast caring for our native seals.’
Vincent Serbruyns from ‘A seal’ ‘Thank you for this wonderful news! That's awesome. This is Micky, a male who was a very weak poorly pup when her arrived with us. We're always craving for this kind of news!@

Cornwall Seal Group Research Trust is a multi-award winning, evidence-based marine conservation charity conducting research aimed at putting grey seals on everyone’s agenda by giving seals a voice and inspiring people to learn more about this UK globally rare species. In one year our 250+ volunteer citizen scientists process over 100,000 photos for individual seal identifications. To learn more about Cornwall’s seals visit www.cornwallsealgroup.co.uk or @CornwallSealGroupResearchTrust on facebook, Instagram or Twitter
To support our work, please visit our online shop www.sealresearchtrust.com

Seal Rescue Ireland (SRI) Our mission is to protect and care for seals, while engaging people in ocean conservation. SRI is responsible for the rescue , rehab and release of orphaned, sick and injured seals nationwide; while engaging the public in solution-based, proactive conservation initiatives. ”HEALTHY SEAS, HEALTHY SEALS”

Manx Wildlife Trust (MWT) is the leading nature conservation charity on the Isle of Man. We protect Manx wildlife by creating Living Landscapes, Living Seas and fostering a society where nature matters. We conserve some of the best habitats and species on the island and at sea by:
• Acquiring land for nature reserves to act as safe sites for wildlife;
• Working with Government, landowners and other partners to manage the land and sea for the benefit of wildlife and Manx people;
• Inspiring people to engage with nature and understand why it matters
• Taking action for wildlife through advocacy and initiating projects for species recovery and proactive research.
This work is carried out by MWT’s small and expert, team of dedicated staff, and overseen by a Council of Trustees. We are lucky to be able to rely on a group of passionate volunteers who dedicate over 15,000 hours per year of their time towards our conservation work.

A Seal (Dutch Seal Sanctuary) Vincent Serbruyns https://www.aseal.nl/?lang=en ‘A Seal’ is a rescue center for Harbour and Grey seals in Stellendam, south of Holland. We are a nonprofit organization that aims to be a centre of expertise for marine mammals with a focus on rehabilitation of the Harbour seal (Phoca vitulina) and the Grey seal (Halichoerus grypus) which are the most common marine mammals of the Dutch part of the North Sea.

Lone kayaker Rupert Kirkwood https://thelonekayaker.wordpress.com/


Published: Nov 2019