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Friday Flora and Fauna

January 30, 2009

Well bloggers, Sunday is the 1st day of Spring, we’ve done it, survived another Irish winter. Doesn’t seem that long since the 21st of December and the depth of it. So things are stirring, birds are getting noisier in the morning and the daffodil shoots are well on the way in the garden. The grey seal pupping season is well underway now, with white coat pups arriving much earlier that in previous years reports the Irish Seal Sanctuary.


Photo owned by Shayne Kaye (cc)

There are two species of seal found in Irish waters, the Common or Harbour Seal Phoca vitulina and the Grey Seal Halichoerus grypus. Ironically the Common Seal is the rarer of the two. The most recent surveys have shown an increased national populations in both species.

The grey seal has her pup on secluded beaches and rocky coves. The pup is born with long white hair and does not go into the water, other than perhaps play on the edge, until it is weaned and lost the white coat at about 3 weeks.

Galway Bay is an excellent area to watch seal with both species frequenting the inner bay area. Seal pups are vulnerable at this time and if touched could be abandoned by the mother. More information can be found on the Irish Seal Sanctuary website.

The image of the seal was found using Jazz Biscuits excellent Creative Commons Image Search, available here.

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