A count was conducted through the Zoological Society of London. Conservationists and volunteers spotted about 500 harbor seals and 200 large grey seals, the final numbers still needing to be confirmed in further studies.
Boats, aircraft, and people on foot took part in the research. The aerial survey helped researchers to count the seals on the outer sandbanks of the estuary, where almost 120 seal colonies were recorded in spots undisturbed by people and boats.
The timing for the survey coincides with the annual seal moult. The harbor seals shuffle their way onto the sandbanks where they can shed their old coats and grow a one for the upcoming winter. This makes them easier to spot and be counted.
The Zoological Society has also asked the members of the public to help out in reporting any sightings of the seals and other marine mammals in the Thames Estuary. Members of the public have reported that they have seen seals near the Richmond area, London Eye, Parliament, and the Canary Wharf.
Joanna Barker from the Zoological Society has said that this survey will produce the first completed count of harbor seals in the Thames and southeast coast.
The ZLS has said that it is incredible that they have counted 708 seals in the river Thames, as they knew there were a lot.
Now that they know what the numbers are and where the seals are living, this will help with ongoing supervision of keeping them safe from seal hunters and any other dangers that there might be.
Written By: Landi Bezuidenhout