- About AMWRRO
- How to help
- Video and Images
Now well into spring and with summer fast approaching many seals (both sea lions and fur seals) are often found in shallow water thermal regulating.
Thermal regulation is a completely normal behaviour and some individuals will do this for hours at a time.
Seals do this to regulate their body temperature (either warm up or cool down by using the sun or wind on their fore flippers and hind flippers or at times, both at the same time); this can at times look like the animal has perished and is slowly floating ashore but is not the case.
AMWRRO receives approximately 2000 – 3000 calls each year by concerned beachgoers from across Australia with regards to thermal regulating seals and in particular from across Adelaide’s metropolitan beaches.
As wonderful as it is knowing there are so many concerned people out there willing to make the call for assistance, we do at times get abused for not acting on their suspicion that the animal is in dire need of assistance due to an entanglement, shark attack, sickness or is already dead and floating ashore.
If you are lucky enough to see a seal floating inshore with flippers pointing upright; you’re one of the lucky ones that is witnessing a wild animal thermal regulating.
South Australia is one of the luckiest States in Australia due to the diversity of seal and sea lion populations that are located within our waters verses that of other States, this does however mean South Australian’s are much more likely to see one of these amazing animals along your favourite stretch of coast line especially in the warmer weather.
Much like elephants that use their large ear veins to cool themselves down whilst flapping and pumping blood through them, seals do exactly the same thing but instead of using their tiny ears, they use their large flippers. Seal fore and hind flippers have large veins running through them that allow circulating blood to warm up or cool down – a very clever design for an animal that has thick blubber and fur which means they need all the help they can get to maintain a comfortable body temperature.
If you are lucky enough to witness this natural behaviour please remember the following facts:
If you have any concerns regarding marine wildlife that you would like clarified or confirmed please feel free to contact AMWRRO on the 24 hour phone numbers 08 8262 5452 or 08 8378 3364