IoM all-island seal surveys conducted for first time

A seal pops its head out of the water at the Calf of Man. Credit: Helen McKenna, ITV

Volunteers on the Isle of Man have been helping conduct seal surveys around the island for the first time.

The Manx Wildlife Trust holds an annual survey at the Calf of Man, which started in 2009.

Seal numbers haven't been formally monitored around the coasts for several years.

Dr Lara Howe from the MWT spoke to Granada Reports about why the surveys are important.

What to do if you see a seal pup alone on a beach

  • First don’t immediately worry. Often the mother will be in the water not far from her pup but still keeping a watchful eye on it. It is likely she won’t come ashore and she may remain in the water for some time.

  • Don’t be alarmed if the mother doesn’t come back for several hours - this is quite normal, and she may be out feeding. If you are concerned keep a watchful eye on the pup for several hours (at least one turn of the tide) and stop anyone else disturbing or approaching the seal too.

  • If the mother does not return after a considerable length of time then it may be a case of calling the ManxSPCA, but make sure you yourself aren’t the reason for the mother not returning.

  • Please do not try to rescue the seal pup yourself as, although they look cute, they can be highly aggressive and could give you a nasty bite which could quickly become infected.

  • Contact the ManxSPCA on 851672 and leave a message if necessary. If you find a dead seal or any other dead marine mammal such as a dolphin or porpoise please report it to the Manx Wildlife Trust on 844432.

  • Credit: MSPCA