Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Dramatic decline in island common seal populations

Dramatic decline in island common seal populations baffles experts. THE common seal populations of Shetland and Orkney have suffered acatastrophic collapse in the past five years, but scientists last nightadmitted they were baffled as to why. One theory under investigation is that global warming caused the unexpected40 per cent crash in the number of common seals. However, other factors including disease, starvation and persecution are allto be explored in a major investigation, as wildlife experts try tounderstand this sudden decline. The Scottish Executive is also poised to take urgent action to protect thedwindling common seal population with a conservation order that will make itillegal to shoot them.
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