Hearts are beating…..

Well, we’ve been here 4 days so far, the first tow days involved  setting up out field equipment including preparing the heart rate monitors and Courtney’s accelerometers. Part of this required sewing some new patches out of thick nylon to form holders for our telemetry devices when we attached them to the seals. This makes it easier to recover the devices later with little impact on the seals.

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Female 74920, our first study mother this year – with her pup and a neighbour

Yesterday we caught our first female, 74920 is her formal designation, but known to us as female number 5, one of the mothers that pupped in Crosspark last year. Crosspark is where Zoe had her observation hide, and ‘number 5’  was one her her study females.

Courtney and Jodie hard at work recoding heart rate signals from the transmitter we attach to the seals, and videoing their behaviour.

Courtney and Jodie hard at work recording heart rate signals from the transmitters we attach to the seals, and videoing their behaviour.

Today, we applied to more sets of heart rate tags and accelerometers to females(74789 and 74890) with pups at a location on the island called ‘Tarbet Hole’.  Both of these females seem to be really attentive mothers, nursing their pups and playing with them, as you can see from the pictures of female 74789 below. 74789 is sporting one of the new sets of nylon patches in navy blue – though  give it a few days and it will be all muddy brown!

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Female 74789 playing with her pup and sporting the new heart rate monitor and accelerometer holders. Watch this space… they won’t be blue for long!

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Jodie in her ‘laboratory’: keeping a close eye on our study females and pups while recording their behaviour on the video. Not a bad view from the ‘lab’!

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