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18.04.07
Seal of approval

Zoological Conservation students, at Cornwall College Newquay, embarked on a three day camping trip to Porthjoke near Newquay, to study seal behaviour and their habitat.

The study, which was run in conjunction with the Cornwall Seal Group, involved two full days of data collection, recording seal behaviour over the tidal cycle. This involved the team of first and second year students getting up at 6:00am every morning and working through until 7:00pm at night.

Rebecca Allen, Programme Manager for Zoological Conservation, said: "Despite the early starts the students thoroughly enjoyed the trip and it was a great exercise in identifying marine mammals. Grey seals have markings which are totally unique and can be used like a fingerprint to identify them. The students used their photography skills to identify six seals."

Student Lisa Clarke explains more: "Seal Research Camp provided valuable opportunities to gain experience in studying seal behaviour, collecting research data on a planned transect route, seal identification and the subsequent processing of data and wildlife photography skills. It was an opportunity not to be missed and was enjoyed by all. The data we collected will be sent to the Cornwall Seal Group who monitor seal sightings around Cornwall."

The Zoological Conservation Foundation Degree is one of six higher education courses run at Cornwall College Newquay and validated by the University of Plymouth. The course, which was developed in conjunction with Newquay Zoo, has grown in popularity over the four years it has been running and includes the study of Animal Nutrition, Primate Behaviour and Learning, Captive Breeding and Reintroduction and many more. The campus has enjoyed recent investment in new buildings and facilities from the Combined Universities in Cornwall initiative, part-funded by the Objective One European Regional Development Fund.

John Latham, Principal of Cornwall College, said: "Research projects like this are invaluable to the student experience. The students develop important skills, desirable to employers and higher education institutions alike."

For further information contact Kerry Trevenna on 01637 857928 or email kerry.trevenna@cornwall.ac.uk.

The Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly has invested in the Combined Universities in Cornwall (CUC) project, both Phase 1 and Phase 2, through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Social Fund (ESF). Cornwall College is a partner of the CUC.

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Editor's notes:

Cornwall College is the largest college in the UK with over 45,000 students
Cornwall College has seven campuses in Cornwall, these are: Camborne, St Austell, Saltash, Newquay, Duchy College Rosewarne, Duchy College Stoke Climsland and Falmouth Marine School
University courses are approved by the University of Plymouth
Cornwall College is a partner in the Combined Universities in Cornwall initiative, which is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund

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Clare Morgan
Media Relations Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Castle House
Pydar Street
Truro TR1 2UD
Mobile: 07973 813647
Telephone: 01872 223439

cmorgan@cornwall.gov.uk

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