Mediterranean monk seal ( Monachus monachus ) in the Gulf of Corinth (Greece): first sightings of the century




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Mediterranean monk seal (Monachus monachus) in the Gulf of Corinth (Greece): first sightings of the century
Azzolin M.1, 2*, Papale E.1, Giacoma C.1
1 Department of Life Sciences and Systems Biology, University of Torino, Via Accademia Albertina 13, 10123 Torino

2Gaia Research Institute Onlus, Corso Moncalieri 68b, 10133 Torino, Italy
* tursiope.ve@libero.it
The Mediterranean monk seal, Monachus monachus, is a critically endangered species, listed by I.U.C.N. experts among the twelve animal species in greatest danger of extinction in the world. The main surviving groups are found in Greece and in Mauritania. Its world population is estimated to be 400-500 individuals, of which 200-250 live in Greece, where it is widely spread. Small populations have been recorded in the islands of the Ionian Sea, in the Aegean Sea and in the Dodecanese area, showing a certain preference towards solitary and abandoned rocky coasts. None record on monk seal presence inside the Gulf of Corinth exists for the new century. The Rescue and Information Network for the monk seals in Greece reports a single stranding in the Gulf of Corinth for the period 1985-1995, indicating a sporadic presence of the species in this area, in previous years. During the month of July 2012, while monitoring cetaceans in the Gulf of Corinth, an adult individual of monk seal was sighted in two distinct occasions, with a latency of 20 days, and in two different areas, located 5 miles a part. Details of both sightings are presented.


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