Occurrence of the critically endangered Mediterranean Monk Seal, Monachus monachus, at Olympos-Beydaglari National Park, Turkey (Mammalia: Phocidae)

GÜCÜ A. C., Sakinan S., Ok M.

ZOOLOGY IN THE MIDDLE EAST, vol.46, pp.3-8, 2009 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 46
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/09397140.2009.10638321
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.3-8
  • Keywords: Mediterranean Monk Seal, Olympos-Beydaglari National Park, photo-trapping, endangered species, Antalya, Turkey, HABITAT
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


The coast of Antalya, despite being acknowledged as an important Monk Seal (Monachus monachus Hermann, 1779) habitat, has never been studied systematically for the occurrence of the species. The rocky cliff-bound coast of Antalya Olympos-Beydaglari National Park, where human disturbance appears minimal compared to the rest in the area, was surveyed between June and November 2008. Of the 39 caves discovered, both along mainland and island coasts, only 8 were considered suitable for placing photo-traps and a total of I I automatic cameras was deployed. The caves were periodically visited to retrieve recorded digital images. 4 individual seals (2 adults, 2 juveniles) were photo-identified in 3 caves. The National Park provides suitable habitat for breeding. Human disturbance was very high throughout the Monk Seal habitats, and the most serious pressure appeared to be the human intruders in the caves. From the conservation point-of-view, three sites in the surveyed area, Ucadalar, Olympos and Adrasan, were noted as significant and so require strict protection.