I spent the month of January 2005 on Sable Island, assisting the labs of Sara Iverson and Don Bowen with their field work on grey seals (Halichoerus grypus). Sara, Don, and their grad students and associates study various aspects of the ecology and physiology of grey seals, as well as other marine and terrestrial mammals (see links below).
One of the ongoing tasks in this research program is to collect life history data about the seals. To that end, my main job was to help my colleague Jim with "the circuit": every day we would drive around the island, checking on specific mum-pup pairs, and then weigh each pup on the day it weaned. We also videotaped pairs of interest, to record the females' interactions with their pups and other adults.
Click on a thumbnail for a larger image and more information.All photos are property of Jennifer Van Dommelen and may not be used without permission.
For more information about the natural history of Sable Island and the work that is done there, please visit the sites below.
Lab of Sara Iverson
Lab of Don Bowen
Sable Island Green Horse Society
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Author: Jennifer Van Dommelen