WhaleNet Reports
Harbor Seal

Harbor Seal

Satellite Tagging Observation Reports

Name- "Goose"
Seal Tag - Tag #27480

  • "Goose" Satellite Tag #27480 Chart B
    Closer view of movements.

    Goose Before Goose After Goose on beach

    8/15/00 - As you can see we are getting quite a few messages and some are of high "LC" quality. This is because "Goose" has been spending quite a bit of time out of the water. This has proved to be a bit of a problem , as he does not appear to be at all wary of people, and he tends to draw a crowd. For the most part people have been good enough to report him to the proper people (the folks at Marine Animal Lifeline) and observed him from a distance. In some cases the crowds have become a problem, and for his own good "Goose" has been moved to a more secluded area. The good news is that while watching his progress he has been seen catching and eating fish on his own. His latest locations are near and around Tenants Harbor. His most recent location is roughly 10 miles offshore near Metinic Island (a location he appears to have visited a couple of times in the past week).

    Below is a review of the travels of "Goose" (by land AND sea) so far.... (provided by the folks at MAL)

    Below is a review of the travels of "Goose" (by land AND sea) so far.... (provided by the folks at MAL)

    8/1 released at Crescent Beach Cape Elizabeth, weight 27.3 kg 8/2 sighting in shallow water off Crescent Beach

    8/4 hauled-out on Old Orchard Beach...relocated him to Granite Point.

    8/5 hauled-out again on Old Orchard Beach, relocated to Straton Island.

    8/6 hauled out on Pine Point Beach, Scarborough, relocated to Mosquito Beach, Tenants Harbor.

    8/11 hauled-out at Lobster Buoy Campground, South Thomaston. Left the site on his own.

    8/12 hauled-out again at South Thomaston. He left the site on his own.

    8/13 hauled out again at South Thomaston. Relocated to Mosquito Beach, Tenants Harbor.

    He was seen by our crew hunting fish on 8/13, noticing that he caught and tore apart a large fish.

    Lets hope he gets the hint and keeps himself out of trouble.

    8/16/00 - If you recall the last set of messages ended with a location that was well offshore. Because of the low "LC" it was hard to be sure how reliable that location was. From the past two days it has become clear that "Goose" has moved offshore. These locations show that he appears to be moving to the south and may be turning back towards shore. Presently he appears to be roughly 15 miles offshore, roughly east of Pemaquid Point (Maine).

    The number of messages has also dropped quite a bit (only a single location yesterday). This is most likely because he is now sending signals from the rougher offshore water.

    Tomorrow may tell us if he continues to head back towards the coast, or remains offshore. During his run offshore he has kept in fairly shallow water, no deeper than 30-40 feet. This is the longest time he has spent away from the coast since his release (over two weeks ago).

    8/17/00 - Here is the latest from "Goose". From the number and "LC" of the messages it looks like "Goose" has not hauled out yet, however he has moved back to close to shore. He has, basically, made a large loop offshore and is now back near shore just south of his location roughly a week ago. Hopefully we will se tomorrow if he hauls out, or which direction he heads from here.

    8/18/00 - Latest from "Goose". Looks like he is back near shore and hanging around on the small rocks near Friendship Maine. This is an area that is loaded with seal at this time of year, so he is in the right general area. The "LC" on two of these hits show the locations that he hauled out for a while.

    8/24/00 - By the way....got to have a little visit with "Goose" yesterday. It seems that he (again) hauled out on Old Orchard Beach), so the folks at MAL scooped him up again. I went to look at how the seal and te tag were doing. Both appear to be functioning (although I'm not sure about the seal and his taste for beaches with people on them). The seal got yet another trip up the Maine Pike back to Near tenant's Harbor again. let's see if he can make the trip in less than a week this time....

    8/24/00 - Here are the latest locations from "Goose". As you may recall, "Goose" got a second trip to Tennant's Harbor, after he hauled out on a crowded Old Orchard Beach, Monday morning, and was, for his own good, relocated down the coast. The good news is that, although he has continued to haul out in areas crowded with people, this did give us a chance to inspect him, and how he was doing with the tag. Although he has lost some weight, it appears that he is managing to feed himself quite well. At his size, however hauling out regularly would be normal and necessary (to rest and warm up). So we will see what happens from here. His latest locations put him near Seguin Island, about 3 miles offshore, and about 25-30 miles from his relocation point. And yes he is headed back in the general direction of Old Orchard Beach. 8/25/00 - The latest from "Goose". He still appears to be heading south, and is about 10 miles offshore, more or less. It appears that he might have hauled out briefly on Seguin Island, but has been swimming in a fairly straight line since then. The question now is, will he stay offshore, or head back towards land. we will (hopefully) see...

    Only two good location points today (probably because he has been swimming during this time and it is harder to get a location fix while he is swimming.

    8/28/00 - Well, good news/ bad news...sort of. The good news is that "Goose" appears to be continuing to travel offshore rather than hauling out on the coast. The bad news is that, probably because he has not come out of the water in the past few days we have only a few locations from him over the weekend. The most recent ones put him roughly 2 miles off of the coast of Cape Elizabeth. Oddly enough this is only a few miles from the location of his release.

    8/29/00 - More locations on "Goose". It appears that after several days at sea he has moved into the coast near Harpswell Maine (veering a bit to the north for a change) and has been hauling out on small islands near shore. Note the improvement in "LC" for most of the signals. This reflects the large numbers of signals the satellite received during the pass.

    8?30/00 - Here is the latest from "Goose". It appears that after a short stay, hauling about around the islands off of Harpswell Maine, "Goose" is once again heading south along the coast. His most recent position has no accuracy estimate, so it might not be real, but it appears that he is roughly 2-3 miles offshore near Cape Elizabeth Maine. Again, only a few miles from the site from which he was released.

    Hopefully we will be able to check on the accuracy of that last location by comparing it to the data we get tomorrow.

    9/1/00 - The latest. Goose IS still reporting and it appears that, from my last message from about 9:30 last night, that "Goose" is near or on shore at Cape Elizabeth Maine. The next set of messages should tell us how long he spent up on shore and what might happen from here. This location is less than a mile from the spot from which he was released.

    Curiouser and curiouser...

    9/21/00 - This will be the last report on "Goose", at least for a while. Over the Labor day weekend, "Goose" again returned to Old Orchard Beach, Maine. When the staff from the Marine Animal Lifeline responded to the report, they saw that it was clear that "Goose" was not in good shape. He had lost more weight since the last time he was seen and appeared to have developed several infections. Because of the weight loss and the infections, it was felt that it would be best to bring "Goose" back to the Lifeline rehabilitation area. The good news is that since he was brought in, he has begun gaining back the weight he had lost and with treatment appears to be recovering from his infection. It is still too soon to say what will happen to "Goose" and when or if he will be able to be released again. While this is not the result we had hoped for, we were lucky enough (partly because his tag let us keep track of where he was going) to be able to get him to treatment when he needed it. All released seals do not survive, but hopefully with what we learn from these tracks we will be better able to understand what happens to them, and better prepare them to go back to the wild.

    More seal data is available in the current WhaleNet Listserv. Sort and go to FIND for "Seal Data", "Goose" entries.
    Map of "Goose's" travels.

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