The results of the study, due to be published in the Journal of Zoology, come from long-term monitoring of seal populations.
Declines have also occurred in the Firth of Tay and additional evidence from Eastern England suggests similar changes may be occurring there. The west coast of Scotland does not however appear to be affected in the same way.
Professor Ian Boyd, Director of the Sea Mammal Research Unit at St Andrews, said:
“Further work needs to be done to confirm the scale of the declines that have been detected but an apparent decline of 40% in five years is a cause of considerable concern.
“These are long-lived animals and this level of decline represents a loss of about 10% of the seals each year. We have no evidence that there has been a short-term, catastrophic event, like an epidemic, but we retain an open mind about what might be the cause.
“It is not possible to suggest, at present, a plausible explanation for this reduction in common seal numbers. It is also unclear whether this reduction is a short term or longer term phenomenon.”
Marion O'Sullivan | alfa
Waste in the water – New purification techniques for healthier aquatic ecosystems
24.07.2018 | Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen
Plenty of habitat for bears in Europe
24.07.2018 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig
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Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference
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Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.
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Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.
Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....
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