Harbor seals in Republic of Ireland in Aug 2003
National Parks and Wildlife Service, Dept. of Environment, Heritage and Local Government

Dataset credit

National Parks and Wildlife Service, Dept. of Environment, Heritage and Local Government

Michelle Cronin, Coastal & Marine Resources Centre, University College Cork

Contacts

RoleNameOrganization 
Primary contact Michelle Cronin Coastal & Marine Resources Centre, University College Cork N/A
Data entry Ei Fujioka Duke University

Citation

Abstract

The status of Ireland's harbor seal Phoca vitulina vitulina population is poorly understood. The most recent national population estimate dates back to the breeding season in 1978 and did not cover the entire coastline. Reliable up-to-date information on the abundance and distribution of harbor seals in Ireland is necessary to assess the conservation status of the species and for the effective identification, management and monitoring of special areas of conservation required for harbor seals under the European Union Habitats Directive. To provide comprehensive current information on Ireland's harbor seal population, a geographically extensive survey was conducted along the coastline of the Republic of Ireland during the species' annual moult in August 2003. This complemented a similar survey of Northern Ireland, which was conducted in 2002. Using thermal imaging technology, haul-out groups of harbor seals and grey seals Halichoerus grypus were identified from the air, aerial-counts were obtained and compared with simultaneous ground-count data from selected sites. Harbor seal distribution recorded during the 2003 moult season was concentrated in the south-west, west and north-west of the country. This national survey yielded a minimum population estimate for the Republic of Ireland of 2905 harbor seals, delivering an effective baseline for current and future population research.

Purpose

N/A

Supplemental information

This dataset also includes ancillary grey seal data, showing summer terrestrial distribution of grey seals. This data cannot be used for estimating population size of grey seals as this is conducted during the winter breeding season.

References

M. Cronin, C. Duck, O. O. Cadhla, R. Nairn, D. Strong and C. O'Keeffe. 2007. An assessment of population size and distribution of harbour seals in the Republic of Ireland during the moult season in August 2003. Journal of Zoology. Vol. 273 pp. 131-139.

Attributes

Overview

Attributes described below represent those in the original dataset provided by the provider.
Only minimum required attributes are visible and downlodable online. Other attributes may be obtained upon provider's permission unless otherwise noted below.

Attributes in dataset provided

Attribute (table column)Description
datetimeDate and time of observation
sight_no
country
region
subregion
speciesSpecies observed
sp_tsnSpecies ITIS TSN
sp_countNumber of animals observed
sp_count_s
easts
norths
location
vcr
comments
longitudeLongitude of observation
latitudeLatitude of observation
oidUnique ID number (generated by SEAMAP)
OBIS-SEAMAP ID431
Seabirds0
Marine mammals435
Sea turtles0
Rays and sharks0
Other species0
Non spatial0
Non species0
Total435
Date, Begin2003-08-12
Date, End2003-08-20
Temporal prec.111111
Latitude51.47 - 55.45
Longitude-10.62 - -5.99
Coord. prec.6 decimal digits
PlatformPlane
Data typeAnimal sighting
EffortN/A
Registered2008-01-23
Updated2011-02-21
StatusPublished
Sharing policy CC-BY-NC (Minimum)
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