Scientists have found a beforehand unknown breeding web site utilized by the world’s rarest seal species.
The Mediterranean monk seal is assessed as “endangered”, with a total population of about 700.
The brand new examine—by the College of Exeter and the Society for the Safety of Turtles (SPOT)—used camera-traps to substantiate breeding in caves in northern Cyprus, with a minimum of three pups born from 2016-19 at one cave.
Solely sure caves are appropriate for monk seal breeding and resting, so—though the numbers are small—the researchers say urgent action is required to guard these caves.
“This space of shoreline in being developed quickly, particularly for development of inns,” stated Dr. Robin Snape, of the Centre for Ecology and Conservation on Exeter’s Penryn Campus in Cornwall.
“A survey of the coast in 2007 discovered 39 attainable breeding caves, and a few of these have already been destroyed.
“The principle breeding web site we establish on this examine presently has no protected standing, and we’re working with local authorities to attempt to change this.”
Lead creator Dr. Damla Beton, of SPOT, added: “One other main menace to monk seals on this space is bycatch (unintentional catching by fisheries).
“We’re working with fishers and authorities ministries to make sure safety areas at sea, as a result of at current no measures are applied to mitigate bycatch within the core areas utilized by these seals.”
The workforce has now established long-term monitoring of the breeding caves, aiming to find out the scale of this seal inhabitants.
The paper, revealed in Oryx, is entitled: “New monitoring confirms common breeding of the Mediterranean monk seal in Northern Cyprus.”
New monitoring confirms common breeding of the Mediterranean monk seal in Northern Cyprus, Oryx (2021). DOI: 10.1017/S0030605320000848
University of Exeter
Rarest seal breeding web site found (2021, March 1)
retrieved 1 March 2021
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