On July 19th seals at the coastline of Heggstaðanes and Vatnsnes, total of 100 km, was counted by the Seal Center’s specialists and volunteers. This is the ninth time that the counting takes place.
This year total of 446 seals were counted (mostly harbouseals). That number is significantly lower than former counts, of between 614 and 757 in 2011 until 2014 and between 614 and 757 animals the years before, 2007-2010. Even though the numbers this year are lower it is important to keep in mind that these numbers are only a clue to the minimum amount of seals in the area. Alot of factors affect the number of seals that can be spotted, weather beining one of them. The weather during the count this year was a lot worse than in the past years, fog, rain and wind. The seal is more likely to be on land when the weather is good, sunny and still.
It is also important to keep in mind that the numbers do not indicate the total population of the Harbour Seal in Iceland. The last full population evaluation in Iceland was done by the Seal Center in 2011 and the results indicate that the population has been the same since 2003 at a total of just under 12 thousand animals. Since then the center has not gotten funding to make full population estimates. Partial counts made in 2014 indicate that there is a decrease in the population. The Seal Center is hoping for funding to be able to make a total population estimate in 2016.