A count of live pups at all colonies was also undertaken in 2002. A total of 21,545 pups was estimated.

Scientists can compare the two estimates to determine whether seal numbers are increasing, stable or decreasing.

Scientists think that before about 1980, there were about 10,000 pups born each year. With 21,545 seal pups born in 2002, and 21,882 pups born in 2007, it looks like the number of pups born each year has about doubled between 1980 and 2002.