More gray seals numbered in the Wadden Sea. free Press

More gray seals numbered in the Wadden Sea.  free Press

There are more gray seals living again in the Wadden Sea of ​​the North Sea. The portfolio has been growing continuously for five years.

Wilhelmshaven (dpa) – Northwest Germany has more gray seals. The Wadden Sea population, which determines the number of young animals to be born, has increased by an average of 11 percent per year over the past five years, the Wadden Sea Secretariat in Wilhelmshaven announced on Monday.

During the same period, the number of gray seals counted during the change of fur continued to increase, with an average growth rate of 13 percent. Regional differences will need to be further investigated over the next few years, the Wadden Sea Secretariat wrote.

Gray seals are born in the early winter months. In the most recent survey, a total of 1927 young animals were counted, 201 more than the previous year. The greatest increases in numbers were observed in Lower Saxony (16 percent) and Heligoland (12), while only one and three young animals were observed in the Schleswig-Holstein Wadden Sea and Denmark, respectively.

With a count of 1026 animals, most marine mammals are still born in the Dutch Wadden Sea, but the number of births is lower than in the period 2018 to 2019 (1062 young animals).

Gray seals are the largest predators on the Wadden Sea coast. Gray seals were numerous before the Middle Ages, but they are believed to have disappeared due to excessive hunting. They returned in the second half of the 20th century. A total of 9069 gray seals were counted in 2021. There are also gray seals again in the Baltic Sea.

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