European Directory of Marine Environmental Data (EDMED)

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Data set name

Grey seals: pup production and population size (1960-1992)

Data holding centreSea Mammal Research Unit
CountryUnited Kingdom  United Kingdom
Time periodFrom 1960 to 1992 (annual surveys)
Geographical area

Inner Hebrides, Outer Hebrides, Orkney, Isle of May, Loch Eriboll (i.e. all the main grey seal breeding sites in the UK)


Seal abundance; Seal reproduction; Seal behaviour; Seal mortality




Annual grey seal surveys are conducted during the breeding season, from late September through late November. During this time, all the main breeding colonies in Britain (in the Inner and Outer Hebrides, Orkney and the Isle of May) are photographed using an image motion compensated 5 inch format aerial camera mounted in the NERC aircraft. Each breeding site is photographed between 3 and 5 times over a six week period. Numbers of pups are counted from photographs using a microfiche reader. Pup production is derived from the distribution of these pup counts over the course of the breeding season. Numbers of adults are derived from pup production figures. Breeding colonies elsewhere on the UK are surveyed by local conservation groups at the Farnes, Wales and Donna Nook in Lincolnshire.

OriginatorsSea Mammal Research Unit
OrganisationSea Mammal Research Unit
AvailabilityBy negotiation
ContactProf.. Mike Fedak

Sea Mammal Research Unit
University of St Andrews Gatty Marine Laboratory
St Andrews
KY16 8LB
United Kingdom

Telephone+44 1223 311354
Collating centreBritish Oceanographic Data Centre
Local identifier1055003
Global identifier760
Last revised2009-10-15