Tyne & Wear

Farne Islands welcome first seal pup of the year

Rangers look on at the first seal pup Image copyright Paul Kingston/NNP
Image caption The Farne Islands are home to around 5,000 seals

The first seal pup of the year has been born on the Farne Islands marking the start of annual count by rangers.

The islands off the Northumberland Coast are home to England's largest Atlantic grey seal colony with around 1,500 born each year.

Rangers from the National Trust will spend the next three months monitoring the success rate of the breeding seals.

The charity is running boat trips to see the seals until 31 October.

Image copyright Paul Kingston/NNP
Image caption Each seal pup is sprayed with a harmless dye to track their movements and wellbeing. Seals can be born as early as September although most arrive in October and November
Image copyright Paul Kingston/NNP
Image caption Last year 1,575 pups were born at the Farne Islands, which are a few miles off the coast from Seahouses
Image copyright Paul Kingston/NNP
Image caption David Steel, lead ranger for the Farne Islands, said satellite tags showed one seal had travelled from the Netherlands coast last year
Image copyright Paul Kingston/NNP
Image caption Although the pups can swim at an early age they do not normally leave the breeding colony until they have been weaned and moulted their white coats

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