Wildlife A-Z

Grey Seal

In our area

Both grey seals and common or harbour seals can be spotted in Dorset.

Grey seals have been recorded all along the Dorset coast from Lyme Regis to Christchurch although there have been more sightings off the Purbeck coast and at Portland Bill.  Whilst most Grey seals have only been recorded once in Dorset, our photo identification catalogue has revealed that a few individuals are regular visitors. 

Recording your sighting of a Dorset seal

If you spot a seal your information and photos can help us get a better understanding of seals in Dorset such as how many are seen, how frequently and their location.  Photos can be compared or added to our Dorset seal photo identification catalogue which allows us to identify individuals and is helping us learn whether seals are returning to the same areas and if any are resident here. We can also share this photo ID catalogue with other recorders to help us learn more about seal movements over a larger area.

Please let us know if you spot a seal in Dorset. You can report your sighting and submit photos using our online reporting form we also have a seal identification guide that you may find useful.

Alternatively, you can let us know by email: Kimmeridge@dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk 

Remember, seals are wild animals. Keep your distance or remain out of sight to prevent distress. Download our Code of Conduct for more information. For any welfare concerns please check with British Divers Marine Life Rescue.

Grey seal

Common Seal

In our area

Both grey seals and common or harbour seals can be spotted in Dorset.

Poole Harbour is an important site for common seals, and they have been present in the harbour for a number of years.  Compared with grey seals, sightings of common seals are not as widespread throughout Dorset with almost all the common seal sightings restricted to Poole Harbour and adjacent waterways.  Several common seals have been recorded on multiple occasions throughout the year indicating that there is a small resident population here in Dorset.

Recording your sighting of a Dorset seal

If you spot a seal your information and photos can help us get a better understanding of seals in Dorset such as how many are seen, how frequently and their location.  Photos can be compared or added to our Dorset seal photo identification catalogue which allows us to identify individuals and is helping us learn whether seals are returning to the same areas and if any are resident here. We can also share this photo ID catalogue with other recorders to help us learn more about seal movements over a larger area.

Please let us know if you spot a seal in Dorset. You can report your sighting and submit photos using our online reporting form we also have a seal identification guide that you may find useful.

Alternatively, you can let us know by email: Kimmeridge@dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk 

Remember, seals are wild animals. Keep your distance or remain out of sight to prevent distress. Download our Code of Conduct for more information. For any welfare concerns please check with British Divers Marine Life Rescue.

Common Seal