Poole harbour gets the seal of approval

 26th Jan 2017


Dorset Wildlife Trust’s (DWT’s) Seal project has enabled conservationists to discover that a resident seal, originally named ‘Domino’ has set up home in Poole Harbour for nine years, after a journey from France in 2007 when she was just a pup.

Using photographs submitted to the DWT seal project, the serial number of a tag on her flippers could be read and was traced back to the Association CHENE in France which recorded rescuing and subsequently releasing her in Baie du Mont Saint-Michael in 2007.  She was fitted with a satellite transmitter and was recorded arriving in Poole Harbour in January 2008.  

It's now been revealved that her name is 'Bonnemine'

She was named ‘Domino’ in the Dorset seal ID catalogue, but it’s now been revealed that her original name is ‘Bonnemine’.  Her rescuers in France were delighted to hear that she is alive and well across the Channel, proving all their efforts have been worthwhile.

Thanks to receiving photos from the public, we are able to tell her story 

DWT Marine Awareness Officer, Julie Hatcher said, “After Bonnemime’s arrival in Dorset, the track was lost but the seal obviously liked her new surroundings as she decided to stay, and is still one of the handful of resident common seals regularly spotted in Poole Harbour.  We are able to tell Bonnemine’s story thanks to receiving photos of her as part of the Dorset Seal Project.  We’re so grateful to those taking part as it’s helping us build up a picture of our Dorset Seal population, their behaviour, habits and progress.”  

Two rescued seals are doing thriving in Poole harbour             

Other seal sightings include the two rescued common seal pups released in Poole Harbour back in December 2016 with the RSPCA after their rehabilitation*.  They’ve been seen interacting with the established resident group and photographs taken by members of the public and sent to DWT are helping us establish the health and development of the pair.

Thank you and please keep your sightings coming!

In 2016 the Dorset Seal Project received 150 sightings, an increase of 82% on the previous year as more people have reported their seal encounters, enabling us to link seals in Dorset with Hampshire, Cornwall and France.   

Please be aware that people should avoid getting too close and disturbing seals.  To report your seal sighting, please email or via DWT facebook/DorsetWildlife or Twitter @DorsetWildlife 

Notes to Editor

*Read more about the seal release story in December 2016 here.

For more information please contact Sally Welbourn at Dorset Wildlife Trust on 01305 264620.

Working for a secure future for Dorset’s wildlife enriching the quality of life

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Dorset Wildlife Trust works to champion wildlife and natural places, to engage and inspire people and to promote sustainable living.  Founded in 1961, DWT is now the largest voluntary nature conservation organisation in Dorset, with over 26,500 members and over 40 nature reserves.  Most are open daily and there are visitor centres providing a wealth of wildlife information at Brooklands Farm, Lorton Meadows, Kingcombe Meadows and Brownsea Island Nature Reserves, The Purbeck Marine Wildlife Reserve and the Urban Wildlife Centre at Upton Heath Nature Reserve.  DWT plays a key role in dealing with local environmental issues and leads the way in establishing the practices of sustainable development and engaging new audiences in conservation, particularly in the urban areas.



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