Seal Pup on Skomer Island
The Wildlife Trust’s Skomer Island, voted Britain’s Favorite Nature Reserve 2016, is well known for its Puffins. But what many people don’t realise is that once the puffins have left around August time, the Atlantic Grey Seals start to have their pups on Skomer’s beautiful beaches. The Wildlife Trust Skomer Team monitor their progress each year and so far this autumn, 7 seal pups have been born.
Female seals produce a single pup each year and the new born pup will have a white or yellowy-white coat. This natal coat is usually moulted after three weeks to reveal a short, velvety coat similar to that of the adults. The pup is suckled for two to three weeks and in this time it trebles its’ weight, putting on as much as 2kg in a single day! The mother’s rich milk is over 50% fat which helps the pup build up its much needed reserves of blubber to insulate it from the cold seas.
Disturbance from man is one of the main threats that seals face today. The first few weeks of a seals life are critical and mothers can usually be observed keeping a close eye on their pups from the sea, they may even leave them unattended for several hours. This does not mean they have been abandoned and they should not be approached. Marine litter is another major threat to seals, they frequently become entangled in monofilament line or fishing nets.
The 2016 pupping season is well underway – exciting times for seal fans! For further information on visiting and staying on Skomer Island, please visit their website.
You can view promotional videos which focus on The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales amazing wild places and experience by clicking here. There are opportunities that everyone and anyone can enjoy, from Puffin spotting and Dolphin watching to relaxing getaways and fast-paced adventures.
For more nature adventures, see our fact files on Wildlife Spotting and Wildlife around Wales.
Photo credited to The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales.
Published 12 September 2016