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 complete inhabitants 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 verify breeding in caves in northern Cyprus, with no less than 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 pressing motion is required to guard these caves.
“This space of shoreline in being developed quickly, particularly for building of motels,” 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 doable breeding caves, and a few of these have already been destroyed.
“The principle breeding web site we determine on this examine at present has no protected standing, and we’re working with native authorities to attempt to change this.”
Lead writer Dr Damla Beton, of SPOT, added: “One other main risk 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 carried out 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 examine, carried out in collaboration with the Center Japanese Technical College with the help of the native authorities, obtained funding from the MAVA Basis.