Wildlife disturbance on the increase on the Ceredigion coast

With more people visiting the Welsh coast than ever before, wildlife disturbance is on the increase.

During the breeding season (September and October) you may come across white fluffy seal pups on beaches or rocky outcrops along the Welsh coast – often on their own. The mother however will probably be close by, so it is vital to keep your distance so she can return to her pup to feed it.

On Monday 05 September, a seal pup drowned off New Quay which may be the result of disturbance by dog walkers. The pup was seen with a female on Dolau beach early in the morning, and dog walkers were advised to keep their distance. The seals left the beach and the pup was next seen in the water by the steps at the end of the harbour wall where it was seen at the surface a couple of times before submerging and not resurfacing, presumed drowned.

Melanie Heath, SAC Officer for Cardigan Bay said: “Seal pups need space and time to rest and grow, they are fed by their mothers’ for just three weeks before they have to fend for themselves. It is vital that during this time they are given space. Disturbance can lead to abandonment and death.”

Councillor Clive Davies, Cabinet Member for Economy and Regeneration said: “It is very important to remember that these beautiful iconic creatures are wild animals so I urge everyone to follow our Ceredigion Marine Code and keep a distance to enjoy from afar. We are also warning dog owners to keep their dogs away from beaches where seal pups are resting and growing.”

Ceredigion’s Marine Code can be found here:  https://cardiganbaysac.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Cardigan-Bay-Marine-Code.pdf and information regarding Seal pups here: https://cardiganbaysac.org.uk/live-and-dead-stranded-animals/