When to count pups?

The best time to count pups is between late December and late January.

Scientists choose this time as:

• pupping and breeding has finished;

• the bulls no longer guard territories;

• bulls have left the colonies so there are fewer seals around;

• cows are going on feeding trips that last several days;

• the pups that have survived are generally strong and can swim so they will not be crushed if a stampede occurs.