ALERTS

CHEERS

SealWatch.org is dedicated to the general well-being of harbor seals and to vigorous enforcement of applicable law for their protection. Alerts will be posted here of documented instances of continued disturbance or threats to harbor seal safety and habitat; Cheers will be posted when new efforts have been made to extend protection.
updated 9.13.17

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CHEERS FOR GREATER THAMES ANNUAL SEAL SURVEYS AND SEAL ACTION PLAN

Although the UK has had a checkered history in its attitudes towards common/harbor/harbour seal (Phoca vitulina vitulina) conservation - with seals still being shot with impunity in Scotland - the Zoological Society of London is continuing to lead a multi-year survey of seal populations in the Thames. And with ongoing efforts at habitat improvement, the results are expected to continue to improve.
LOWER THAMES ESTUARY
[ Graphic by Slimberly at English Wikipedia - Public Domain ]
 
With earlier survey numbers already reaching up to a thousand, after decimating viral epidemics (PDV), haul-out destruction, and wide-spread pollution, conditions have improved enough that a first-ever "Breeding Survey" is planned in the Estuary for 2018.
 
As part of the ongoing monitoring, public input of seal sightings along the Thames is encouraged, using "citizen-science" data to supplement the work of professional marine biologists surveying from the land, water, and air. The ambitious Greater Thames Seal Action Plan encompasses all aspects of species and habitat conservation, from fisheries interaction and planning applications to inter-species competition and necropsy systematology.
 
With active participation by a vast array of lead organizations and other key stakeholders, both public and private, lay and professional, there is great reason to be optimistic.