Seals Current Events

Seals Current Events, Seals News Articles.
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DNA reveals hooded seals have wanderlust
An international team of researchers have learned that all the hooded seal populations in the world share the same genetic diversity. (2007-05-09)

Researchers find consistent mercury levels in arctic seals
Ringed seals and other Arctic marine mammals are important in the diet of Arctic Indigenous peoples. A study spanning 45 years of testing indicates that mercury concentrations in ringed seals from the Canadian Arctic have remained stable, showing very limited declines over time. (2020-10-07)

Offshore wind turbine construction could be putting seals' hearing at risk
Noise from pile driving during offshore wind turbine construction could be damaging the hearing of harbour seals around the UK, according to ecologists who attached GPS data loggers to 24 harbor seals while offshore wind turbines were being installed in 2012. Data on the seals' locations and their diving behaviour was combined with information from the wind farm developers on when pile driving was taking place. Models revealed that half of the tagged seals were exposed to noise levels that exceeded hearing damage thresholds. (2015-05-20)

Gray seals consume as much fish as the fishing industry catches
The gray seals in the Baltic Sea compete for fish with the fishing industry. The seals locally eat about the same quantities of cod, common whitefish, salmon, sea trout and eel as those taken by fishermen. This is the conclusion from research carried out at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. (2012-04-02)

Seals forage at offshore wind farms
By using sophisticated GPS tracking to monitor seals' every movement, researchers have shown for the first time that some individuals are repeatedly drawn to offshore wind farms and pipelines. Those man-made structures probably serve as artificial reefs and attractive hunting grounds, according to a study published in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on July 21. (2014-07-21)

Elephant seals - looking good
Placing small sensing devices on the seals' coats, marine biologists and oceanographers are gathering information not only on the mammals themselves, but also on sea temperatures and pressure from depths not normally reached by research ships and satellite sensing. (2000-12-12)

Growing seal population threatens small-scale fishing
Seals and the fishing industry compete for fish of all types -- no matter whether it is salmon, whitefish, herring or cod. Seal-safe fishing gear is the most sustainable solution, and we need knowledge about the behavior of fish and seals in order to develop such gear. This is the conclusion reached by scientists at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. (2011-05-09)

Count seals in Antarctica from the comfort of your couch
Scientists are asking the public to look through thousands of satellite images of Antarctica to assist in the first-ever, comprehensive count of Weddell seals. This count will help scientists better protect and conserve the pristine Ross Sea and wildlife in the area. (2016-07-26)

TV crews capture first evidence of leopard seals sharing food
Previously unseen footage captured during filming for the Netflix series Our Planet -- narrated by Sir David Attenborough -- reports up to 36 seals seen feeding at the same king penguin colony in South Georgia. (2019-08-04)

UAlberta biologists show that female seals have consistent personalities
Female seals don't change their spots, according to a new study by University of Alberta biologists. In fact, individual differences in boldness remain consistent over time. The study is among the first to examine boldness in wild marine mammals in the burgeoning field of animal personality. Animal personality influences many ecological processes, like how individuals interact with other species or respond to changing environmental conditions. (2018-06-27)

Seals threaten Scottish cod stock recovery
Predatory seals are constraining the recovery of cod stocks in Scottish West coast waters, research led at the University of Strathclyde suggests. (2015-05-18)

Spotted seal study reveals sensitive hearing in air and water
Two spotted seals orphaned as pups in the Arctic are now thriving at UC Santa Cruz's Long Marine Laboratory, giving scientists a rare opportunity to learn about how these seals perceive their environment. In a comprehensive study of the hearing abilities of spotted seals, UCSC researchers found that the seals have remarkably sensitive hearing in both air and water. (2014-02-26)

A bastard seal from the past reveals the potential for human hybrids
If discovered as fossils, grey and ringed seals are so different that they could be classified as belonging to different families. Yet, a seal pup born in 1929 was found to be an almost perfect intermediate between the species. Compared to Neanderthals and modern humans, grey and ringed seals are genetically and dentally at least twice as different, suggesting that there may be more fossil human hybrids to be discovered. (2018-11-30)

Moves to automate identification of Saimaa ringed seals
Moves are being made to automate the identification of Saimaa ringed seals. This would bring new kinds of real-time information on how the extremely endangered species behaves, the movements of individual seals, and what happens to them. The final aim of an ongoing study at the LUT on machine vision is to get a biometric passport for each individual Saimaa ringed seal. (2015-03-06)

Drone photos offer faster, cheaper data on key Antarctic species
Scientists flying drones in Antarctica have demonstrated a cheaper, faster and simpler way to gauge the condition of leopard seals, which can weigh more than a half ton and reflect the health of the Antarctic ecosystem that they and a variety of commercial fisheries rely on. (2017-11-29)

Female Antarctic seals give cold shoulder to local males
Female Antarctic fur seals will travel across a colony to actively seek males which are genetically diverse and unrelated, rather than mate with local dominant males. These findings, published in this week's Nature, suggest that female choice may be more widespread in nature than previously believed and that such strategies enable species to maintain genetic diversity. (2007-02-07)

Seals, birds and humans compete for fish in the Baltic Sea
In Sweden and in other parts of Europe there are concerns that seals and birds compete with humans for fish resources. For the Baltic Sea, an international study now shows that this competition is a reality. (2017-11-13)

Ocean warming causes elephant seals to dive deeper
Global warming is having an effect on the dive behavior and search for food of southern elephant seals. (2012-02-09)

Understanding seal movement can help mitigate seal-fishery conflict
Understanding the differences in the behavior of different seal species can help in the choice of the most effective measures to mitigate the seal-fishery conflict and in the sustainable management of seal stocks. A new study from the University of Eastern Finland provides novel and detailed information of the movements of ringed seals and grey seals in the Baltic Sea. (2015-11-17)

Mapping Oregon coast harbor seal movements using wearable devices
Wearable devices fitted to harbor seals reveal their movements around the Oregon coast, for a population that has been increasing following the implementation of marine reserves and protection acts. The study publishes July 31, 2019 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Sheanna Steingass from Oregon State University, USA, and colleagues. (2019-07-31)

European seal plague may threaten population survival
Scientists from Sweden and the USA report in an upcoming issue of the journal Ecology Letters that the 2002 outbreak of phocine distemper virus, or PDV, in European harbour seals may reduce the population by more than half and that future outbreaks with similar characteristics could significantly increase the risk of population declines. (2002-10-30)

WWU receives $720,000 for 5-year harbor seal study
Grad students at Western Washington University are researching the effects of harbor seals on recovered rockfish populations. (2006-05-03)

Seals not competing with Irish fishing stocks, according to new research
Seals are not threatening commercial fishing stocks in Irish waters, with the possible exception of wild Atlantic salmon, according to new research led by Queen's University Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK. The findings show that seals are having no significant impact on populations of the most popular species of fish caught for commercial purposes along the south and west coasts of Ireland, from counties Galway to Waterford. (2015-10-27)

Southern elephant seals may adjust their diving behavior to stay in prey patches
When southern elephant seals find dense patches of prey, they dive and return to the surface at steeper angles, and are more sinuous at the bottom of a dive, according to a study published Dec. 14, 2016, in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Yves Le Bras from Centre d'Etude Biologiques de Chizé, and colleagues. (2016-12-14)

Increasing seal population will not harm largest fish stocks in the Baltic
Seals feeding on fish does not decrease fish stocks of Baltic cod, herring and sprat the most -- climate change, nutrient load and fisheries do, shows a new study from Stockholm University. (2018-12-10)

Video And Data Link Provide Unique "Seal's Eye View" Of The World
Imagine a lion, poised to bring down its prey, drawing and holding a breath, then giving chase for 20 minutes. Few, if any, large land-based predators could do such a thing. But seals and other marine mammals regularly do. (1999-02-11)

Elephant seal pups suffer from ocean warming
Ocean warming has a negative impact on the condition of elephant seals, reveals a study published in the Open Access journal BMC Biology. High ocean temperatures observed from 1975 to the late 1990s are correlated with a 28% decrease in the weight of elephant seal pups. Elephant seals are shown to be sensitive to ocean temperature changes associated with both long-term 25-year cycles and short-term 3-4 year cycles such as those caused by El Niño. (2005-04-18)

Extinct relative helps to reclassify the world's remaining 2 species of monk seal
The recently extinct Caribbean monk seal was one of three species of monk seal in the world. Its relationship to the Mediterranean and Hawaiian monk seals, both living but endangered, has never been fully understood. Through DNA analysis and skull comparisons Smithsonian scientists and colleagues have now clarified the Caribbean species' place on the seal family tree and created a completely new genus. The team's findings are published in the scientific journal ZooKeys. (2014-05-14)

People power and satellites help scientists study climate impacts on Antarctic seals
A New Zealand-led international study of the crabeater seal population in Antarctica aims to understand environmental impacts on one of the southern-most mammals in the world. (2020-08-13)

Secret life of elephant seals not secret anymore!
Miniature oceanographic sensors attached to southern elephant seals have provided scientists with an unprecedented peek into the secret lives of seals. (2007-08-07)

Foraging strategies of smallest seals revealed in first ever satellite tracking study
The first ever satellite tracking study of one the world's endangered seal species has revealed new information about their migration habits and hunting patterns. (2016-08-03)

Tooth be told: Earless seals existed in ancient Australia
A fossilised seal tooth, dating back approximately three million years, found on a Victorian beach proves earless seals existed in Australia in prehistoric times. Known as monachines, the seals became extinct due to rapid changes in sea level. (2020-04-03)

White shark attack shows they're not man-eaters
Shark expert Peter Klimley, a UC Davis researcher, says the recent attack on a swimmer off Avila Pier in Central California supports his belief that adult great white sharks are selective hunters that would rather eat fat seals than bony human beings. (2003-08-28)

Seal sensors
Seals and yachts could help oceanographers reveal data from the depths of remote ocean areas where existing data is scarce. By attaching electronic probes to the animals and boats, researchers in California hope to monitor everything from temperature to phytoplankton levels. (2000-02-01)

An avian flu that jumps from birds to mammals is killing New England's baby seals
A novel avian influenza virus has acquired the ability to infect aquatic mammals and was responsible for an outbreak of fatal pneumonia that recently struck harbor seals in New England, according to scientists at the Center for Infection & Immunity (CII) at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, New England Aquarium, USGS National Wildlife Health Center, SeaWorld and EcoHealth Alliance. (2012-07-31)

Grey seals discovered clapping underwater to communicate
An international study, led by Australia's Monash University, has discovered wild grey seals can clap their flippers underwater during breeding season. (2020-02-02)

Meet 'Henry and Nick,' seals featured in Science study
A new experiment shows how harbor seals use their hyper- sensitive whiskers to detect hydrodynamic fish trails, a unique way to track prey in murky waters. (2001-07-05)

NOAA scientists find killer whales in Antarctic waters prefer weddell seals over other prey
NOAA's Fisheries Service scientists studying the cooperative hunting behavior of killer whales in Antarctic waters observed the animals favoring one type of seal over all other available food sources, according to a study published in the journal Marine Mammal Science. (2011-03-30)

Study shows benefits of being fat (but not too fat) for deep-diving elephant seals
Researchers using a new type of tracking device on female elephant seals have discovered that adding body fat helps the seals dive more efficiently by changing their buoyancy. The study looked at the swimming efficiency of elephant seals during their feeding dives and how that changed in the course of months-long migrations at sea as the seals put on more fat. (2014-11-04)

Studies of marine mammals indicate a "breathtaking" ability to dive to great depths
When it comes to diving deeply, marine mammals as different as seals and blue whales employ the same physiological adaptations to allow them to travel the maximum distance with minimum effort. So say researchers funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), who studied the behavior of Weddell seals in Antarctica. (2000-04-09)

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