Gray Seal Pupping Cam: Your Connection to Nature This Winter

Written by on January 11, 2014 in Marine Life, Seals, Sea Lions & Sea Otters
Gray seal pup.

Gray seal pup. Photo credit: nutmeg66 via photopin cc.

It’s that time of year again. Gray seals, bald eagles and other wildlife have come to find shelter on a remote island 19 miles off the coast of northern Maine, and thanks to explore.org, we can see it all live.

A live HD camera established on the island sanctuary by explore.org and Audubon is allowing anybody, anywhere to watch live video streams of mating, birthing, pupping, fighting, and everyday socializing behaviors of the gray seal. Viewers can also take screenshots of anything they find particularly interesting. The data collected by viewers can help researchers better understand migration, mating, and other seal and eagle behaviors.

Eagles? Yep. These carnivorous birds will swoop down to clean up after a mother gives birth, feasting on the nutrient-rich placenta and embryonic sac.

Live footage can be seen every day from 10:00am to 2:00pm EST. Explore.org and NOAA are working together to feature live chats with experts during those hours.

Scientists first observed gray seals using the 65-arce island as a pupping site in 2000. Since then, Seal Island National Wildlife Refuge has become the second largest gray seal pupping location in the US.Females give birth to one pup between late December and early January. They remain with their pups on land for about three weeks after the birth and then the pups are abruptly weaned. The pups remain onshore to shed their white fur and then venture into the water to learn how to hunt on their own. Luckily for us, we still have a few weeks to watch these guys live.

For more about the camera, check out this post: Live Footage of Gray Seal Pups. And check out some of the highlight so far: birth of a pup and adults fighting.

Screenshot from the live stream on explore.org.

Screenshot from the live stream on explore.org.

Copyright © 2014 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.

About the Author

About the Author: Emily Tripp is the Publisher and Editor of MarineScienceToday.com. She holds marine science and biology degrees from the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and a Master of Advanced Studies degree in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. When she's not writing about marine science, she's probably running around outside or playing with her dog. .

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