Reseau quebecois d'urgence pour les mammiferes marins

Reseau quebecois d'urgence pour les mammiferes marins

April 16, 2012 15:48 ET

Seal Pups Stranded on Beaches: Public Collaboration Is Needed

TADOUSSAC, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - April 16, 2012) - Springtime: young harp and hooded seals are normally weaned. Depending on ice condition, you can expect to see them show up on St. Lawrence's beaches. It is a good time to remember what people should do if they encounter a stranded pup.

The Quebec Marine Mammal Emergency Response Network ask the public:

  1. Do not approach within 50m (150 ft)

  2. Keep noise low and avoid crowding the animal

  3. Keep pets on a leash

  4. Do not touch, feed, water or move the seal

  5. If the animal is in a crowded area and humans could be a problem, please report the situation by dialling 1-877-722-5346.

About 10 pups stranded on beaches were reported in the last few days, a situation where animals are vulnerable to human disturbance. More cases could arise in the next few weeks. Posters have already been put up in several areas, thanks to volunteers. They tell people what to do to respect stranded seals.

Since it is a natural event and since those populations are considered not at risk of extinction, experts recommend letting nature takes its course. Efforts will be directed at ensuring humans do not make things worse.

The Quebec Marine Mammal Emergency Response Network is made up of 15 private and governmental organisations. Its mandate is to organize, co-ordinate and implement measures to reduce the accidental death of marine mammals, come to the assistance of animals in trouble and acquire data concerning dead animals in the waters of the St. Lawrence bordering the province of Quebec.

The Network also counts on shore dwellers and those navigating the waters of the St. Lawrence to promptly report all cases of marine mammals (whales and seals) that are either in trouble or dead. Thank you for your precious collaboration!

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