On tuesday 19th after an hour surveying the calm waters of the Inner Ionian Sea we encountered a lonely monk seal Monachus monachus. We had the privilege to observe its graceful movements for about an hour (see video and photo gallery). Monk seals are considered critically endangered by the IUCN. Greece is the nation which still contains most of monk seal habitat and the highest number of monk seals. Here, scattered across remote and less disturbed locations of the country’s highly fragmented coastlines, monk seals continue to attest their ability to reproduce. Because the greatest number of remaining Mediterranean monk seals is now in Greek territorial waters, protecting the species in Greece is by far the single most important measure that can be achieved at the global level to reverse the current downward trend of the species over its entire range within the Mediterranean basin, and to save it from extinction.
Our observation was reported online to MOm. Those of you encountering any monk seal are strongly encouraged to do the same by visiting MOm’s MEDITERRANEAN MONK SEAL OBSERVATION REPORT site
For more information visit: Hellenic Society for the Study and Protection of the Mediterranean monk seal (MOm).
Notarbartolo di Sciara G., Adamantopoulou S., Androukaki E., Dendrinos P., Karamanlidis A., Paravas V., Kotomatas S. 2009. National strategy and action plan for the conservation of the Mediterranean monk seal in Greece, 2009 ‐ 2015. Report on evaluating the past and structuring the future. Hellenic Society for the Study and Protection of the Mediterranean monk seal (MOm), Athens.