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Seal Pup Protection Volunteers Wanted

The young seal pup who has decided to make Porto Santo beach her home has raised a series of questions, and as such, the Institute of Forests and Conservation (IFCN) is monitoring the six-month-old female pup around the clock.  However, the Municipal Council of Porto Santo has asked the general population to get involved and are seeking ‘seal pup safeguarding’ volunteers to look after her until she decides to return home.

As such, there will be a training course held at the Porto Santo City Hall at 10.00 am on the 16th for all those interested in joining the IFCN monitoring team.  In addition to basic training, a presentation on the Monk Seal and its habits will be available to all participants.

The young Monk seal has adopted the waters surrounding Porto Santo and its beach since the 10th of this month, in what is seen as unusual behaviour.  its preferred habitat is in and around the waters surrounding the Desertas Islands.  Paulo Oliveira, from the Institute of Forests and Nature Conservation (IFCN), believes that the seal, who was born in November 2018 is on her first exploratory trip away from home.   Although hunting and feeding at night while using the beach as her resting place during the day is normal seal behaviour, her presence on the beach is not ideal.  Although a safe haven has been built for her, which is monitored continuously by four nature watchers, a vet and a biologist, she will need to return to the Desertas.

Plans are in place to ensure that if she does not return soon, she will be caught and returned to her natural habitat.

Samantha Gannon

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