Mating Season

Friday 30th November comments: The Isle of May Grey Seal colonies are changing again as the number of new born pups is decreasing whilst young ‘second coat’ weaners are finding their way in the world. As for the adults, it’s all change as once the lactation period is complete (after 18-21 days) the female cow seals job is done. But not quite…

Over the last few weeks large Bull seals (which can weigh up towards 40 stone) have been battling and fighting for prime areas of the colonies to protect a harem of cow seals. It is at this stage that bulls will mate with cows either on land or in the sea. Interestingly female cow seals delay implantation (despite mating at this time of year) which allows the female to give birth at the same time every year.

Following mating, cow seals will head off into the North Sea to start the process of fattening up and getting fat reserves built up again for the winter and the new pregnancy in the New Year. Then next autumn the process will start all over again…

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