Storms beach baby harp seals in Netherlands
Due to recent storms in Europe, over 100 baby harp seals have washed up on the northern shores of the Netherlands.
The amount of seals found on the country’s beaches has increased within the past two to three years.
An animal rescue center in England has also received stranded seals because of the storms and is now caring for 41.
The incident is an extreme example among a recent increase in pup strandings, experts say. Overfishing has reduced the seals’ available prey, and the polluted fish the animals do catch often make them sick.
For more on the story plus pictures of the baby harp seals in rehab see this National Geographic piece.
Harp seals are taking a real hit this year.
In early December I posted about an estimate of ‘1 million’ seal pups drowning off the coast of Canada due to a lack of sea ice cover. Further reports suggest that climate change is a real threat to the continued survival of the seals.
The kind of mortality we’re seeing in eastern Canada is dramatic. Entire year-classes may be disappearing from the population in low ice years – essentially all of the pups die. It calls into question the resilience of the population.
–David Johnston, Duke University Marine Lab
Read more on CBC News.