Count more gray seals in the Wadden Sea | free press

More gray Wadden Sea seals live in the North Sea again. The portfolio is growing continuously for five years.

Wilhelmshaven (dpa) – There are more gray seals in northwest Germany. The population of the Wadden Sea, in which the number of young animals born is determined, has grown at an average rate of 11 percent annually over the past five years, the Wadden Sea Secretariat in Wilhelmshaven announced on Monday.

During the same period, the number of gray seals counted during a fur change continued to increase with an average growth rate of 13 percent. The Wadden Sea Secretariat wrote that regional differences should be subject to further investigation in the next few years.

Gray seals are born in the early winter months. In the most recent survey, 1,927 young animals were counted, an increase of 201 from the previous year. The largest increases in numbers were observed in Lower Saxony (16 per cent) and Heligoland (12), while only one and three juveniles were seen in Schleswig-Holstein Wadden Sea and Denmark, respectively.

With 1,026 animals counted, the majority of marine mammals are still born in the Dutch Wadden Sea, but the number of births is lower than in 2018-2019 (1,062 juveniles).

Gray seals are the largest predators on the Wadden Sea coast. Gray seals were numerous before the Middle Ages, but it is believed that they disappeared due to excessive hunting. They returned in the second half of the twentieth century. A total of 9,069 gray seals were counted in 2021. There are also gray seals in the Baltic Sea again.

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