A bit of an update on what is happening to the young seals on the island.
Young seals have a tough time of the island. Of the 2000 pups born every year over 200 die before they reach an age to leave the island. A PhD project currently under way is looking at what those reasons are. In some places on the island the density of adults and pups is very high and it is possible that with all the closely packed animals disease and infects are more easily passed to each other. Above is a pup, one of the last, on Pilgrims Haven which has some of the greatest densities of seals in breeding time. You can seen the amount of kelp, driftwood and rubbish that gets washed up that only compounds the problem.
One thing it does show is the importance of places like the Isle of May where, when a problem like this arises the island can support vital research to answer questions. More information is available on the following link, http://www.smru.st-andrews.ac.uk/newsItem.aspx?ni=308.