The Icelandic Seal Center’s annual seal count along the approximately 100-meter long coastline of the capes Vatnsnes and Heggstaðarnes in northwest Iceland took place on Sunday. Much fewer seals were spotted than in last year’s count.
The Icelandic Seal Center in Hvammstangi. Photo by ESA.
The volunteers counted 614 seals in the area, compared to 1,033 seals in 2011. “I believe the weather on Sunday had an impact on the results,” animal behavioral scientist Sandra M. Granquist at the Icelandic Seal Center in Hvammstangi, told Morgunblaðið.
“Usually, the weather has been good but now we faced heavy rain and windy conditions,” Sandra stated, pointing out that this was just one of many counts that will take place to get a more realistic picture of the number of seals in the area.
“However, it is an indication and the number is lower than last year, although it doesn’t necessarily mean that the seal stock is on a decline,” she added.
The 40 volunteers counted seals on foot, horseback and from boats. Every two or three years seals are counted from an airplane. Three trips are usually scheduled and experienced counters are responsible for counting the seals.
This was the sixth annual seal count since 2007.
Click here to read more about seals in Iceland.