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Sälfie ID in 2022 - What we found

We spent the spring of 2022 testing different ways of capturing photographs of seals and testing different tools to streamline the process of identifying them. Our collection methods ranged from high-tech drones coupled with machine learning to old school camping out on a rock for hours waiting for the perfect opportunity to snap a picture.


Above: Student Simon Isacsson spent hours camped out on rocks this summer hoping to capture some of the amazing photos you'll find on the www.salfieid.com website.


Altogether, we identified 59 unique individuals who will form the start of the Sälfie database. We even had some surprise findings - like the appearance of a young grey seal on the west coast of Sweden.


Above: Young grey seal on the Swedish West Coast - a visitor or a local?


In 2023 we want to scale things up! We will be out in the spring collecting more photos to grow the database. We are particularly interested in adding breeding females as these individuals are so important for population growth. We've realised though that we might need some help to collect photos - hence the launching of the Salfie website which will aim to collect photos from the people who spend the most time on the waters - boaters, fishers and nature lovers! People with seal photos can submit them through the www.salfieid.com website or by emailing them along with details about the location and date of the sighting to salfie2023@gmail.com.

This website will also be a location to share exciting news about our research and cool pictures we capture during the field season. There are exciting times ahead and I hope as many people as possible get involved!


Above: A harbour seal jumping for joy!

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