Page last updated at 09:40 GMT, Friday, 17 October 2008 10:40 UK

Harbour seals' movements tracked

Chichester Harbour Seal
Harbour seal (Picture from Chichester Harbour Conservancy)

A group of seals living in Chichester Harbour in West Sussex are to be fitted with sat-nav tags to help researchers find out where they feed and breed.

The small group of common seals, a protected species, is the only one known in the eastern English Channel.

The tags will transmit details of the seals' movements around the Solent.

"It is absolutely fantastic to be so hands-on with such an important conservation issue," said Ed Russell of Chichester Harbour Conservancy.

"At the moment all we know about the Solent seal population is the main sites where they haul out on to mud at low water.

With the professionals doing it, there will be as little distress to the animals as possible
Ed Russell

"We get occasional sightings around the harbour.

"But for conservation reasons it is important to know where these seals are feeding and what they are doing when they are not hauled out on the mud."

The tags are to be put in place by experts from the Sea Mammal Research Unit in St Andrews, Scotland.

The animals will be netted and the tags glued to their heads.

The tags will fall off when the animals moult in July, but until then will transmit information until then whenever they are near to the shore.

"Once they are netted, it is a very quick operation to fix the tag and let them on their way," said Mr Russell.

"With the professionals doing it, there will be as little distress to the animals as possible."


RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC iD

Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2020 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific