In the next few weeks, we are likely to see young seal pups along the coast. They always attract attention from the public, but Northumberland Wildlife Trust is urging everybody to simply leave them alone.
The adult seals return to the Northumberland coast to give birth to their pups and, after a few weeks, these pups head off to sea to prepare to live an independent life. However some will turn up on beaches along the coastline as they learn to swim and feed. In circumstances such as this, their mother is usually not too far away.
The biggest risk they face is from disturbance so owners are asked to ensure that any dogs are kept under control and away from any young seals. The Trust is also asking for help from anyone who may come across a dead seal during a visit to the coast. There is growing concern over an apparent rise in numbers of deaths, but this has not been formally monitored.
Some are shot off the Northumberland Coast, some are diseased and some are thought to die as a result of injuries caused by contact with ship propellers and some of this can be determined by photographs rather than an expensive autopsy.
Should anybody find a dead seal, it would be really helpful if they could contact Steve Lowe, Head of Conservation at the Trust on: 0191 284 6884 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org with details of the exact location and, if possible, a digital photo of the dead animal to help establish the cause of death.
Although post-mortem is more accurate, this method will also be valuable and is cost effective in monitoring the issue.