Fine-scale harbour seal at-sea usage around Orkney and the North coast of Scotland

Esther Lane Jones, Sophie Caroline Smout, Clinton John Blight, Carol Elizabeth Sparling, Bernie J McConnell

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

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The report describes how fine-scale harbour seal usage maps around Orkney and the north coast of Scotland, UK, can be used and interpreted, the caveats and limitations, and methodology used to produce them (Appendix A). 1. Harbour seal movement data from telemetry tagged seals, collected between 2003 and 2015, were combined with terrestrial count data. The most recent year that count data were collected from each onshore location was used, which ranged from 2008 to 2015. Population-level species distribution maps and associated confidence intervals were produced around Orkney and the north coast of Scotland at a resolution of 0.6 km x 0.6 km. Seasonal usage was investigated (Appendix B). There were a number of data and numerical constraints that meant robust seasonal usage maps could not be produced. To address these constraints, recommendations of telemetry and terrestrial count data collection and further analysis are made.

Original languageEnglish
PublisherMarine Scotland
Commissioning bodyMarine Scotland
Number of pages37
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016

Publication series

NameScottish Marine and Freshwater Science
PublisherMarine Scotland
ISSN (Print)2043-7722


  • Harbour seal
  • Phoca vitulina
  • Orkney
  • North Coast of Scotland
  • marine planning
  • usage maps


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