Seal Surveying / Ythan Estuary

Researchers from the University of St. Andrews have identified the need for a cost-effective tool to monitor seal numbers at remote and often inaccessible haul-outs, which can indicate changes in marine habitat. The goal of this project is to develop and pilot an autonomous camera monitoring (ACM) system for near-real time seal haul-out monitoring in Scotland. This low-cost, low-impact system would enable managers to make rapid, informed management decisions, making it particularly valuable for species facing challenging management issues. The system will be designed such that it could be installed in a wide range of coastal locations, including remote or difficult to access areas.

St. Andrews received £25,000.00 in the SMEEF 2023/24 grant round for this work. This was our first fully privately financed round made possible by donations from businesses interested in restoring and enhancing Scotland’s coasts and seas. Contributors are listed here. For more information about how to contribute to SMEEF contact

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