Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Isle of Man seal pup deaths 'highest' in six years - Manx Wildlife Trust

Seal Pup Image copyright Paul Kingston/NNP
Image caption A team of volunteers along with members of the Manx Wildlife Trust spend time on the Calf of Man during October and November to monitor seal numbers

Stormy weather has caused the highest number of seal pup deaths around the Isle of Man coast for six years, according to wildlife experts.

The Manx Wildlife Trust said there have been six confirmed in the Calf of Man islet so far this year.

Spokeswoman Lara Howe said pups can become exhausted or get battered against the rocks by high waves.

It is thought female seals return to the islet off the south coast every year because of its secluded position.

Ms Howe added: "It's a sad sight but all part of the natural process - this year has been particularly harsh and we have suffered the greatest number of mortalities since the surveys started."

Image copyright Manx Wildlife Trust
Image caption Although pups can swim from birth, when the sea conditions become rough they can perish in the harsh conditions, either by becoming too exhausted to swim or getting thrashed against rocks by high waves
Image copyright Paul Kingston/NNP
Image caption A survey into seal numbers on the Calf of Man has recorded 34 births in the first half of the 2014 pupping season - last year almost 60 pups were born
Image copyright Manx Wildlife Trust
Image caption Experts predict more seal pups will become victims of the harsh weather (when high tides coincide with stormy weather) over coming weeks

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