Sunday, November 08, 2009

Seal Tagging Training

Oh boy!  Looking out at Hales passage at the Whatcom Cheif, I could see it was going to be a bumpy ride.  On a day like this I might normally reconsider a trip to town.  Not this time.  This time I was on a mission.  I was heading to town to learn how to tag seals and that would be worth a wild ride on the ferry.

As a volunteer responder for Whatcom Marine Mammal Stranding Network I have great opportunities to learn new and interesting things having to do with marine mammals. 

In this last year I've learned about Grey whales, wildlife rehab at Wolf Hollow, harbor porpoise,  and now I was going to learn how to tag a seal pup with a special wildlife tag.  How cool!

These numbered tags are used to help identify a marine mammal
 that has been responded to by the stranding network

We learned what items we would need to add to our response kits for
tagging  including betedine to clean the seal flipper and the equipment.

We had a great trainer, Joe Gaydos, DVM PhD. Joe showed us how to properly handle a live seal pup for tagging and gave us some hands on experience using the tagger. I won't get into the "how to" detail here. If you are interested in these sort of trainings and helping marine mammals you may want to become a volunteer responder too. 

Upon completion of our training, Joe gave each of us a lovely map from the SeaDoc Society of the recently recognised Salish Sea 

I love volunteering!  In giving a small bit of myself and my time to WMMSN to help marine mammals and their cause I've gained so much more.

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