Saving The Cape Fur Seal From Extinction
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By signing this petition, you will assist in restoring this specie of seal back to its evolutionary path, in so doing prevent its extinction, and in the process end 600 years of Seal Clubbing. Loss of natural breeding habitat is the single biggest threat, facing Cape Fur Seals.
Cape Fur Seals, found nowhere else on earth, except around the tip of Africa, although millions of years old, have not evolved into True Seals, and as such, are required to spend up to 50\% of their time on dry-land, to rest, to warm themselves, to mate, to breed and to raise their young.
Offshore islands are their natural habitat. Sealing and physical banning has already ensured that this species has become extinct on every major island off the coast of South Africa.
In 1893, the then colonial government enacted legislation that would save the Cape Fur Seals from extinction, after nearly 500 years of commercial island sealing, in which millions upon millions of seals were clubbed to death. In 1973, the Apartheid government of South Africa introduced the further protection of Cape Fur Seals, with the Seabirds and Seal Protection Act (Act no.46 of 1973). In which it declared that the 11 islands and 10 rocks off the South African coastline was now protected offshore islands for these species.
Of the 11 islands and 10 rocks off the South African coastline, which equate to a total of 1000 ha of island land. 2 of these islands alone account for 85\% or 850 ha. One of these islands, the largest in southern Africa, alone accounts for over 57\% of the offshore protected land. These 2 islands are the only islands along 4000 km of coastline big enough to support the future of the Cape Fur Seal, both have remained extinct to seals.
One of these islands, Robben (Robbe being the Dutch word for Seal), was called the Island of Seals by the earliest explorers to our shores. Its mankind altered past involved Sealing, Whaling, Banishment of Slaves, a leper Colony, a Military Base, a Political Prison, and today it is a wildlife sanctuary and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Whilst 23 species of non-indigenous mammals have been introduced to the island over the years Seals, after having been exterminated in early 1800, have remained extinct and banned from breeding on this island. If every Seal in southern Africa were allowed to return to this important Seal Colony, they would only occupy a total of 32 ha of this 573 ha island, or just 6\%.
By opening up this island once again to seals, the commercial clubbing of 60 000, 7-month old baby seals on the mainland, could finally come to an end, as pupping cows would now have an alterative place to raise their young, protected and free from sealing in Namibia. 40 000 new-born baby seals, likewise who are washed into the surrounding seas, due to being born on small inappropriate awash rocks, will have a chance at survival.
With Cape Fur Seals only currently being allowed to bred on 1\% of the smallest awash offshore rocks, their future is indeed bleak.
I humbly and desperately ask all who see this lobby petition to sign it and pass it along to all of whom you might be acquainted.
For the Seals, I am
Francois Hugo Seal Alert-SA