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Reminder to the public about seal pups 24 October 2006

The Wildlife and Conservation Division of the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry would like to reinforce their recent message about seal pups. Seals are protected species in the Isle of Man - please keep well away from seal pups to give them their best chance of survival.

At this time of year when grey seals are producing pups, there will always be a few born on beaches used by the public, rather than on the inaccessible coastline usually favoured by seals. If you do come across a pup while walking on the beach, please leave it alone! Keep as far away from the seal pup as possible and keep dogs away from the pup too. If you encounter a seal pup on a beach where you regularly walk, we would suggest that you avoid that area for a few days to allow the seal to feed and hopefully leave the area naturally.

If the seal is left undisturbed it will be fed by its mother and will move successfully on to the next stage if its life, living in the sea. If it is disturbed, it could be abandoned by its mother and if it isn’t fed regularly will die. The MSPCA will take in injured pups but this is a last resort – the best thing for a pup is for nature to take its course without people intervening.

There have been some recent reports of people disturbing a seal pup on a beach on the Island and we would like to emphasise the damage that this can do to the individual pup and to the seal population in general. Intentional disturbance of protected animals like seals is also an offence under the Wildlife Act. If you are concerned about seals being disturbed please contact the Wildlife and Conservation Division on 843109.

In order to monitor seal populations around the Isle of Man, the Wildlife and Conservation Division commission research into seal haul out and birthing sites around the Isle of Man. They would also like to hear about any dead seals that are found around the coast of the Isle of Man. Seals die for a variety of reasons: disease, injuries sustained in storms, old age. In some areas of the British Isles, seals are deliberately killed or injured. This is clearly an offence under Manx law. If you suspect that seals are being deliberately killed or injured please contact the Police.

If you see a dead seal on a beach please call the Wildlife and Conservation Division on 843109.

Keep your distance from seal pups and report any disturbance which concerns you

Report any dead seals to the Wildlife and Conservation Division

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