[MARMAM] Important discovery of a new Mediterranean monk seal breeding colony in the Aegean Sea - Greece

a.karamanlidis@mom a.karamanlidis at mom.gr
Mon Oct 20 01:15:21 PDT 2008

Dear colleagues,

I would like to draw your attention to the important discovery of a new Mediterranean monk seal (Monachus monachus) breeding colony in the Aegean Sea - Greece. A report of this discovery has just been published:

Dendrinos, D., A.A. Karamanlidis, S. Kotomatas, V. Paravas, S. Adamantopoulou. 2008. Report of a New Mediterranean Monk Seal (Monachus monachus) Breeding Colony in the Aegean Sea, Greece. Aquatic Mammals 34(3): 355-361

Identifying and effectively protecting the last remaining Mediterranean monk seal (Monachus monachus) populations and their habitats is a key priority for the survival of this critically endangered species. Following the opening of a restricted naval area at the island of Gyaros in the central Aegean Sea, Greece, the authors initiated efforts to verify the existence and assess the status of the species in the area. Using established monk seal habitat suitability criteria and survey techniques, the authors aimed to identify suitable habitat and document possible pup production of the species in this new area. Throughout the coastline of the island eight coastal caves were located, three of which were considered suitable for resting and pupping, while the remaining five were considered suitable for only resting. Pup production was recorded during the 2004, 2005 and 2007 pupping seasons and a minimum of ten, four and seven pups were identified respectively. In addition, mother - pup associations and interactions on three open beaches, a behavior that has not been observed in this species in the Mediterranean Sea recently, were recorded. This newly discovered colony, with relatively high natality compared to other breeding sites in the Mediterranean Sea and the rare use of open beaches, is of outstanding conservation value and is in urgent need of effective protection.

Please send reprint request to the following address:

Alexandros A. Karamanlidis, PhD

Email: a.karamanlidis at mom.gr

18 Solomou Str. GR-10682 Athens Greece. Tel.:+30.210.5222888, Fax:
+30.210.5222450, web-site: www.mom.gr 


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