Shetland has a population of c. 6500 (1993) common seals (Phoca vitulina), which represents approximately 20% of the estimated UK population. This was the first major study on common seal diets in Shetland.
The study set out to determine the diet of common seals around Shetland throughout a 12 month period, based on analysis of hard parts found in seal faeces. A Final Report on the study was delivered to the funding bodies in December 1996.
Work on common seal diets will continue opportunistically from 1997 onwards, the general aim being to describe and understand interannual variation in the summer diet. Funding for work in 1997 was obtained from the Scottish Association for Marine Science and the Mammal Society.
Brown, E.G. & Pierce, G.J., 1997. Diet of common seals at Mousa, Shetland, during the third quarter of 1994. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 77, 539-555.
Brown, E.G. & Pierce, G.J., 1998. Monthly variation in the diet of harbour seals in inshore waters along the Southeast Shetland (UK) coastline. Marine Ecology Progress Series 167, 275-289.
Brown, E.G., Pierce, G.J., Hislop, J.R.G. & Santos, M.B., 2001. Interannual variation in the summer diets of harbour seals Phoca vitulina at Mousa, Shetland (U.K.). Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 81, 325-337.
For further information, contact:
Edward G. Brown or Graham Pierce