Aerial surveys of Harbour Seals in the Wadden Sea in 2009
Growth of the harbour seal population slowing down?
In accordance to the Trilateral Seal Management Plan, the three Wadden Sea countries Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands perform harbour seal counts annually. These are coordinated and synchronised between the three countries. Five aerial counts are conducted nearly simultaneously every year at low tide from Esbjerg in Denmark, to Den Helder in the Netherlands. This coordination allows for an estimate of the total population size and the number of pups born every year for the entire Wadden Sea. During these flights all seals hauling out on sandbanks are counted.
In 2009 the weather conditions during the pupping season in June and the moulting season in August were favourable during almost all the flights.
Sophie M.J.M. Brasseur and Peter J.H. Reijnders, IMARES, Texel, The Netherlands Thomas Borchardt, National Park Schleswig-Holstein, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany Ursula Siebert, FTZ-Büsum der Universität Kiel, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany Sven Ramdohr and Michael Stede, LAVES Cuxhaven, Niedersachsen, Germany Lasse Fast Jensen, Fiskeri- og Søfartmuseet, Esbjerg, Denmark Jonas Teilmann, National Environmental Research Institute, Aarhus University, Denmark