Seals in Dumfries and Galloway

Grey SealThe Grey Seal, which means ‘hooked-nosed sea pig’ is sometimes known as the Atlantic Seal and is the U.K.'s largest native mammal.  It can be up to 3 metres long and weigh 300kg.  They are recognised by their elongated head and Roman nose. Grey Seal coats are spotted and vary in colour from dark grey to brown.  Head and neck markings are unique to each individual.

Grey Seal pups are produced during September and October.  They have an attractive white fur, this being shed after about 3 weeks.

About 40% of the world’s population and 95% of the European population of Grey Seals live around the coasts of Britain.  They can be spotted at any time of year in and around the Solway.  Grey Seals are long distance swimmers and are known to move between the Solway, the Isle of Man and Ireland.

In winter numbers tend to be lower than in the summer, possibly because some have travelled to breeding sites.

Common SealThere are very occasional sightings of Common or Harbour Seal in the Solway and there are reports of pups being born here in recent years, pups being born around June / July.

The Common Seal, which is much less common than the Grey Seal, is smaller and has a snub nose, resembling a Golden Retriever.  They also frequently adopt the characteristic 'banana posture' when basking on land, which Grey Seals don't do so much.