The Archipelago, where our regular monitoring of dolphins and seals is conducted since 1991, is a site of exceptional naturalistic value and poses important monk seal breeding, resting, and feeding habitat. The condition of monk seals in these waters is at the same time very exciting (due to the unprecedented and increasing numbers of sightings) but in parallel very worrisome due to the lack of concrete management actions to mitigate disturbance in the seals’ critical habitat by the frequentation by tourists and fishermen.
Our work with Mediterranean monk seals in the Inner Ionian Sea Archipelago have intensified in the last decade. Since 2019 we count on the support from the Fondation Segré and the Monk Seal Alliance. Our research efforts yielded , among other things, a catalogue of 30+ monk seal individuals, suggesting that this area is one of the species’ most valuable habitats at the global level.
Some caves frequented by the seals are monitored through autonomous and continuous monitoring systems installed and maintained by the Octopus Foundation, a Swiss-based organisation concerned with the conservation of the marine environment, which we have been collaborating with since 2019.