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Kent Seal and Cetacean Survey

Kent has one of the longest coastlines in the country. Arguably, it also borders one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world with high levels of disturbance and pollution for the marine mammals that live in the English Channel, or use it as a migration route.

Kent Mammal Group has never confined its interest to terrestrial mammals but has encountered difficulty in undertaking meaningful observations to establish the population and distribution of the grey and common seals around the Kent coast.

2010 provided a step change in this level of understanding with the completion of three days of aircraft based observation from the Thames and Medway estuaries to the Goodwin Sands. This survey was instrumental in doubling the numbers of recorded seals when compared to previous surface level observations. The work would not have been possible without the support of Kent and Medway Biological Records Centre and Bramley Associates.

The Group has also purchased acoustic pods and is negotiating for the placement of these to further monitor the behaviour of cetaceans and to develop its understanding of the problems encountered by these species off the shores of Kent.

 

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