MOm - Mediterranean Monk Seals

Link to the wild

Supporting the work of MOm (The Hellenic society for the study and protection of the Monk Seal).

The Project

Aiding in the protection of Europe’s most endangered Marine Mammal. Funding MOm to help with the purchase of camera trap equipment and boat fuel to facilitate cave entry and data recovery. 

The Target
£2K

Greece has a coastline that exceeds 16,000 km in length, which is more than half the length of the entire African continent and almost as long as the coastline of the United States. At the same time, Greece has more than 4,000 islands, making the country the ideal refuge for the endangered Mediterranean monk seal.

The numerous marine caves found along the Greek coastline are used by monk seals for sheltering, resting and pupping, and are essential for the survival of the species.

Locating and mapping all these caves is an important research priority and a prerequisite for the successful conservation and management of this critically endangered species. However, this task is extremely difficult - both in respect to the logistics and the necessary time involved in completing it. To date the research team at MOm have surveyed one fourth of the entire Greek coastline. The goal is to complete the task within the next decade. Information from the Rescue and Information Network of MOm make us believe that more important areas for the Mediterranean monk seal will be discovered in Greece and that hopefully soon a network of protected, important areas for the species will be established in the country.

MOm take a holistic approach to conservation, not only focusing on monitoring. They are also involved in rehabilitation and reintroduction, policy formation, education, research and co-operation with other local and global charities.

We aim to support their ongoing coastal mapping and monitoring project.

Where your money goes

Greece

Project Leaders

Nikki, Alex & Erin - The Sea Lion Team

As part of a national effort led by the BIAZA Marine Mammal Working Group, we, along with the vast majority of establishments working with marine mammals in the UK are focusing our fund raising and awareness campaigns on the Mediterranean Monk seals. We have supported MOm in previous years - with the struggle to understand and conserve Europe’s rarest seal close to our hearts, we look forward to raising the profile of this charismatic and elusive species.

Common name
Mediterranean Monk Seal
Scientific name
Monachus monachus
Location
Greece
Lifespan
11 to 12 years
Fast facts
• Adult seals can reach a length of 2.8 m and weigh as much as 300 kg.
• The Mediterranean monk seal is one of the largest “true” seal species
• New-born pups are approximately 1m long when born and weigh 15 - 18 kg. Pups possess a soft and woolly pelt or “lanugo”, which is approximately 1 – 1.5 cm long.
• Monk seal survival seems to be very dependent on the existence of suitable pupping caves.
Conservation status
Endangered