Monk Seal (© Photo: SAD-AFAG/C.O.Kiraç).
Mediterranean Monk Seal (Monachus monachus) Watch, Turkey.
by the Underwater Research Society - Mediterranean Seal Research Group (SAD-AFAG), Ankara, Turkey.
RUNNER UP OF THE VAN BREE VTS AWARD
The Mediterranean Monk Seal is listed as Critically Endangered since 1996 (IUCN), with a world population of approximately 600 individuals. Its distribution is concentrated in Turkey, Greece, Portugal & Mauritania. It is estimated that Turkey has a population of 100 individuals. The total length of Turkish coastline, including its islands, is 8.500 km. The majority of the islands and reefs which provide crucial habitat for the survival of the species is located along the Turkish Aegean Sea and Mediterranean coasts.
The objectives of this project are to determine and update the reproductive status of the Mediterranean Monk Seal along the Aegean and Mediterranean coastal stretches of Turkey, to individually identify and catalogue them, and to protect its habitat against destruction by coastal development and pressure by tourism, which is the major threat in the recent years.