Seal Pup Study Underway on Muskeget Island

Researchers transport a seal pup on Muskeget. Photo/Milton Levin, UCONN.
Researchers transport a seal pup on Muskeget. Photo/Milton Levin, UCONN.

Cape Cod Times: This time of year, thousands of gray seals are drawn to the Cape and Islands to breed and give birth.

Two "white coats" find shelter near a shrub. Photo/NEFSC/NOAA.
Two “white coats” find shelter near a shrub. Photo/NEFSC/NOAA.

So are researchers, 30 of whom converged last week (January 16) on Muskeget Island, a remote scrap of sand and scrub brush off Nantucket, and the largest pupping site in the U.S.; and on Monomoy Island off Chatham, where a large seal colony now produces hundreds of pups.

This was the third year of a long-term study on the health, behavior and habitat of the local gray seal population. The study is meant to help answer questions posed by scientists and others about the effects of an expanding seal population on natural resources, fish stocks and other seal species. Others would like to know the upper limit of the seal population’s explosive growth, since seals attract great white sharks to beaches also used by humans.

Read more about the seal study taking place on Muskeget Island.

Read the full NOAA press release here.

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