Saturday, April 4, 2020 We usually enjoy very
good seal observation this time of the year, with numerous seals on the rocks
and plenty of company on the beach to share in the fun.
However, this season is different, and now the John H.
Chafee Nature Preserve is closed, so we will not be visiting Rome Point
while the closure is in effect. The past
couple of weeks we have noted overflowing parking lots at all of the
well known local hiking spots, as the public at large seeks solace in
nature in a time of anxiety and uncertainty. It is of interest to us how so many people have
intuitively flocked to the forests and beaches in pursuit of exercise,
entertainment, and peace of mind, and we hope that a more
widespread appreciation of the natural world will continue to flourish
in our society long after the Coronavirus situation has settled down. We
were blessed to have learned about the calming, restorative, and
healing power of mindful, relaxing time spent
in nature long ago, and it is our hope that the
discovery of this truth will be a gift that many people will treasure
in the face of whatever the days to come may bring. Good Luck... and Good Health... to All!
posted a short new video in the video links below, this video features
an episode of some of the most persistently aggressive seal behavior we
have ever observed.
will not be commenting here on daily seal watching prospects as related
to weather and tide for a while, but there should be lots of seals
around on good days through April. Interestingly, seals have to
deal with periodic virus outbreaks too. The last big marine mammal flu epidemic in
the Western Atlantic was in 2011 when the avian flu (from ducks)
strain H3N8 was responsible for the known deaths of over 160 juvenile
harbor seals in New England. Ever since that event, we have seen fewer
young seals at Rome Point than we observed prior to the virus outbreak, but we cannot say whether these two facts are related in any way.
analysis of our observations for last season (Fall 2018 through Spring 2019) revealed that on days when the weather was
nice (wind < 10 mph, and no precipitation) the seals were flushed by
human activity during an astounding 84% of our observations. We are
certain that this is a level of seal disturbance that we have
not experienced here before, especially during the winter months. We want to avoid involving
law enforcement to the greatest extent possible, we do not want to
impede fishing or aquaculture in the area unless absolutely
necessary, and we do not want to take action that would unduly
publicize Rome Point to avoid overcrowding on weekends. However, these
limiting factors may be constraining our ability to implement an
effective plan, and we are reconsidering what other approaches
might be more effective.
Here is a link to video showing an incredible
aggregation of Grey seals on Cape Cod at Monomoy. Grey
Seals on the Beach at Cape Cod
of our seal watching friends have shown an interest in
sharks; this website is dedicated to tracking sharks
tagged with GPS satellite transponders. Ocearch
We have posted some short seal videos to Youtube
for your seal watching amusement. Seal Pup Follies was
in Maine in June 2012 and Linebelly Rising is a
clip showing the Rome Point kingpin climbing to the top of his favorite
the Internet home of the Rome Point harbor seal colony in
Rhode Island's Narragansett Bay.
web site is the place to learn where, when, and how to
observe harbor seals from the shore of the John H.Chafee
at Rome Point, located in North Kingstown, RI.
is the best place in southern New England to observe large numbers of
wintering harbor seals from
I have had the
pleasure of enjoying more than 900 seal walks and sharing close-up
of the seals through my spotting scope with at least 10,000 friends,
neighbors, and seal seekers from all over the world. Rome
Point is one of Rhode Island's most
natural treasures, and on a good day the seal watching
using appropriate sport optics rivals any wildlife sightings you are likely to observe in most US
web site is a guide to having a successful and fun seal watching
hike at Rome Point. The information presented here will
enable you to locate and responsibly observe the seals. This
published as a public service by amateur naturalists on a volunteer
basis. Thanks for visiting Romepointseals.org!