Irbe the Grey Seal

Here are the latest news on Irbe's life in the wild

Irbe the Grey Seal

Irbe is a female Grey Seal that was born in Riga Zoo on 26 January 2021 (more info here). On 19 March 2021 Irbe was released into Baltic Sea (more info here). We express our thanks to Mart Jüssi for advice. Irbe was equipped with a GPS transmitter, so we have a possibility to follow its movements.


16 August24 October

A bit like a lockdown

Irbe the Grey Seal continues to dwell in the same area north‒northwest of Bornholm Island, Denmark. She's recorded here already since mid-May.  On 21 September‒1 October Irbe made a journey towards Southeastern coast of Sweden but returned soon.

915 August

No change

Irbe the Grey Seal continues to dwell in the same area.

28 August

No change

Irbe the Grey Seal continues to dwell in the same area.

26 July‒1 August

Still in the same area

Now Irbe the Grey Seal has spent already two and half months in the area north‒northwest of Bornholm Island, Denmark. 150 GPS signals were recorded through satellites this week.  

19‒25 July

One of the best Grey Seal areas in Baltic Sea

Irbe's life continues as usual. She spends her time in her favourite area near Bornholm. 120 GPS signals were received through satellites this week.

12‒18 July

Why to rush?

It seems that Irbe is content with food availability and other conditions in the area she stays already for a longer time. Possibly she's going to stay here even longer, maybe even to spend a summer here. This week another of released seals, Melluzis, passes close by the western side of Irbe's current range. Still, GPS data show that both animals have most possibly not met. The third released seal, Grīva, currently moves in the sea near Ventspils, Latvia.

5‒11 July

Leading a peaceful life

Irbe stays in her favourite area and does not travel far. This week she moved from the northern coast of Bornholm to Ertholmene archipelago, then returned. The sea now is warm, the temperature at the sea surface has reached 20 ⁰C. The sea is 40‒80 metres deep here, so Irbe can dip into deeper, cooler waters, if that becomes too hot at the surface. 

28 June‒4 July

Enjoying herself in the favourite area

Irbe continues to reside in the deep sea area north Danish island of Bornholm. In the middle of the week she made a small trip towards the coast of Sweden, but soon returned to her favourite spot near Bornholm. Irbe maintains a high activity level, 144 GPS signals were recorded through satellites this week.

2127 June

Summer solstice near Bornholm

Irbe spends both the longest day and the shortest night of the year in her favourite waters north of Swedish island of Bornholm. 138 GPS signals were received from this area through satellites this week.

1420 June

Still in the same area

Irbe continues to spend her time in the same deep waters north Bornholm. This week satellites fixed 128 signals from the GPS transmitter Irbe is wearing.

8‒13 June

Attracted by Bornholm, Denmark

Irbe is still staying in an area north Bornholm. The sea is 40‒80 metres deep here, and the island is surrounded by high cliffs. This week 109 GPS signals were received through satellites, a new record. That means that the seal is active, moves around a lot and is healthy.

31 May‒7 June

No change

Irbe basically stays in the same area. She's shifted a bit off Ertholmene and now spends her time on the north side of the island of Bornholm, Denmark.

24‒30 May

More rest

Irbe spends all the week near Ertholmene. Obviously she likes this area a lot. This week a record number of GPS signals, 75, was received through satellites. As the signals are received only while the GPS transmitter's antenna is above the water, obviously Irbe swims around a lot and has a good health. 

17‒23 May

A bit of rest

Irbe spends all the week in the area of Ertholmene. The received GPS signals show that Irbe moves around the archipelago. Water temperature in this area is around 8 degrees above zero.

11‒16 May

Between Sweden and Denmark

Irbe bypasses Bornholm from north and moves further. On 11 May Irbe is only 2 kilometres off the southeastern coast of  Sweden. Irbe does not stay here long, though, and turns back towards Bornholm already the next day. The she moves further northeast to Ertholmene, a small archipelago of Denmark. From 13 May up to today the GPS signals are received from this region. We can only guess what attracts Irbe to this particular area of small islands, a rich food source or maybe the presence of other seals.


5‒10 May

Towards Denmark

Irbe spends some more days near Poland, then resumes the travel. She moves southwest to the territorial waters of Demark. Currently Irbe is around 40 kilometres from Bornholm, a Danish island. The sea is 90‒110 metres deep here.

26 April‒4 May

Near Poland

Irbe travels over the areas where Baltic Sea is 15‒50 metres deep. She approaches Poland but stays 15 kilometres off the coast.

21‒25 April

In the sea between Sweden and Poland

After traveling at a fast pace along the coast of Sweden, Irbe decides to stop and rest. She spends almost a week in a comparatively small area near the outer border of the territorial waters of Poland. The sea is 20‒40 metres deep here.

13‒20 April­

Near Sweden

Irbe continues to travel westwards. She bypasses Öland from the south, then approaches Sweden mainland. Irbe comes as near as 14 kilometres to the Swedish coast and spends two days in this area where the sea is around 40 metres deep. After two days Irbe leaves Sweden and starts to travel southeast.


7‒12 April

Further into the sea

Irbe travels west, towards Sweden. She keeps moving quickly. That possibly indicates that she already has learned to hunt on fish effectively, as such a speedy travel requires a reasonable energy intake.

1‒6 April

Near Liepāja, Latvia

Irbe continues south. She spends the night of 2/3 April by the coast of Latvia (the GPS signal was recorded as near as half a kilometre from the coast). On 5 April she goes to explore a deeper area of Baltic Sea where it is 120‒140 metres deep. The last GPS signals show that Irbe moves in the area around 45 kilometres west of Liepāja.

25‒31 March

Near Pāvilosta, Latvia

Having spent several days near Ventspils and Užava, Irbe starts to travel south. The last GPS signal (on 31 March at 20:15) was recorded in the sea around 20 kilometres from Pāvilosta and 16 km from Akmeņrags. In this area the sea is around 40 metres deep.


19‒25 March

First days at Baltic Sea near Ventspils, Latvia

Irbe is released to the sea off Ventspils on 19 March. Based on GPS data, first she moves a bit south. On the second day, however, she turns to the north. In these days Irbe keeps around 8‒30 kilometres off the coast of Latvia.



More info about Grey Seals here

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