Emden (DPA) – When visibility is clear and the sun is shining, the annual count of seals begins in the Wadden Sea National Park on the North Sea coast of Lower Saxony. From the airfields of Emden and Mariensiel near Wilhelmshaven, two aircraft took off for the first count flights in the morning.
Volunteer meters provide an overview of protected animal populations and health status with scientists from the air, as announced by the Lower Saxony State Office for Consumer Protection and Food (LOVE) in Oldenburg.
“The weather is perfect for the reckoning,” a Levs spokesman said. With less wind and a lot of sunlight, seals settle on sand banks to sunbathe at low tide – so they can be easily seen from the wind. The berths of seals are also mapped during flights.
Another counting flight, initially planned for Wednesday, is scheduled to start from Nordholz near Cuxhaven on Friday. A total of 15 flights are planned on five dates for counting of seals by mid-August. The censuses are part of an international security agreement between Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands. Last summer, more seals were counted than ever before: 10,382 seals were sighted between Ems and the Elbe.
© dpa-infocom, dpa: 210602-99-833290/2
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