The Common Seal

Series: Shire natural history (35)
Common seals have played an important role in the economy and folklore of coastal communities since phreistoric times. They are one of Britain's most observable wild mammals and are a favourite tourist attraction in many area. This book covers all aspects of the biology of the common seal, basing itself largely on a study of their ecology in Orkney, but drawing also on previously published studies from North America and Europe. It describes their distribution around Britain and explains where they are most likely to see seals in the wild. Common seal behaviour, both on their haul-out sites and in the water, is described and information given on their population dynamics, annual cycle and feeding ecology. Deit and feeding ecology are discussed in relation to the ability to dive and exploit food resources which are unavailable to most mammals. These feeding specialisations do, however, bring common seals into conflict with man, and the final chapter examines attitudes to their conservation and management.