New monitoring confirms regular breeding of the Mediterranean monk seal in Northern Cyprus

Beton D., Broderick A. C., Godley B. J., Kolac E., OK M., Snape R. T. E.

ORYX, vol.55, no.4, pp.522-525, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 55 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1017/s0030605320000848
  • Journal Name: ORYX
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, PASCAL, Agricultural & Environmental Science Database, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, Environment Index, Geobase, Greenfile, Index Islamicus, Public Affairs Index, Veterinary Science Database
  • Page Numbers: pp.522-525
  • Keywords: Breeding, camera trap, Cyprus, Mediterranean monk seal, Monachus monachus, MONACHUS-MONACHUS
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


The Endangered Mediterranean monk seal Monachus monachus is one of the most threatened marine mammals. Across Cyprus, suitable habitat and presence of monk seals is well documented and, recently, camera-trap surveys in Southern Cyprus found there to be pupping. We present results of the first camera-trap surveys in Northern Cyprus spanning the pupping period. Four adult/subadults and three pups were identified in three of eight caves monitored with camera traps. One site on the north-west of the island supported at least three adult/subadult seals and pupping occurred there in 3 consecutive years. The breeding and resting sites identified require urgent conservation to manage threats of disturbance, coastal development and fisheries bycatch. To determine the size of this population, a long-term survey with greater and more continuous coverage is required.