Updated Seal Usage Maps: The Estimated at-sea Distribution of Grey and Harbour Seals

Debbie Jill Fraser Russell, Esther Lane Jones, Christopher Morris

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

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For a previous Scottish Government funded project (MMSS/001/11), seal telemetry data were combined with haul-out specific population data to generate usage maps for both grey and harbour seals around the United Kingdom (UK) and Republic of Ireland (ROI) at a spatial resolution of 5 x 5 km (Jones et al., 2013). These maps provided estimates of seal abundance (and associated confidence intervals) aggregated between 1988 and 2012, thus taking into account changes in population size through time. For Jones et al. (2015), maps were generated which were scaled to the estimated population size in 2013, resulting in the most up-to-date understanding of current seal usage at that time. The Department of Business and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) funded a large deployment of tags on grey seals in the
southern North Sea and subsequently commissioned an updated North Sea usage map reflecting the estimated grey seal population size in 2015 (Jones and Russell, 2016). At the request of Scottish Government, usage maps have been generated for
Orkney on a finer spatial resolution (0.6 x 0.6 km; Jones et al., 2016; Jones et al., 2017).
Original languageEnglish
PublisherMarine Scotland
Commissioning bodyThe Scottish Government
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017

Publication series

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


  • Grey Seal
  • Phoca vitulina
  • Harbour seal
  • Halichoerus grypus
  • usage maps
  • marine distribution


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