Akamas and Chrysochou Bay IMMA

Area Size

284 km2

Qualifying Species and Criteria

Mediterranean monk seal – Monachus monachus

Criterion A; C (1)

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The Akamas Peninsula of Cyprus is an area along the rocky shoreline with caves where Mediterranean monk seals (Monachus monachus) rest. These caves are also used to rear and nurse their pups in safety. The area extends to the 200m isobath and follows the same boundary as the existing Convention on Biological Diversity’s Ecologically or Biologically Significant Area (EBSA). The Mediterranean monk seal is an Endangered species. A resident population of the monk seal is present in the Akamas area, and the status of this population is now at a critical stage. Important sea caves, also present in this area, offer resting and breeding habitats for the monk seal.

Description of Qualifying Criteria

Criterion A – Species or Population Vulnerability

The IUCN Red List classifies the Mediterranean monk seal as Endangered and infers that their numbers are declining from significant anthropogenic threats. The area contains important caves that the monk seals use for their resting and breeding.  Furthermore, a database of recording sightings of the monk seals around the island of Cyprus is maintained by the Department of Fisheries and Marine Research (DFMR). Through these activities, it is confirmed that the within this area, there are 4-5 individuals.

Criterion C: Key Life Cycle Activities

Sub-criterion C1: Reproductive Areas

The caves that the monk seals use for their resting and breeding were confirmed through the surveys carried out in Cyprus in 1997, 2005-2006 and 2011. Through these surveys, a number of caves were examined along the coastline of Cyprus during the identification of suitable monk seal habitats, and it is confirmed that the area contains important habitat (caves) were monk seals have been observed to be used for pupping.

Supporting Information

Cebrian, D. 2005. Information Report on the Status of the Monk Seal in the Mediterranean. Ed. UNEP/MAP-RAC/SPA.
Convention on Biological Diversity. 2014. Report of the Mediterranean Regional Workshop to Facilitate the Description of Ecologically or Biologically Significant Areas. EBSA Regional Workshop. Málaga, 7 to 11 April 2014.

Davidson, D.F. 1959. Seals. Bulletin of the Cyprus. Ornithological Society (7): 10.

Demetropoulos, A., Hadjichristophorou, M., Demetropoulos, S. and Cebrian, D. 2006. Report on the Mediterranean Monk Seal Survey of the Cyprus Coasts (2005-2006). Cyprus Wildlife Society (CWS) and Department of Fisheries and Marine Research. A Report to RAC/SPA (UNEP/MAP).

Demetropoulos, A. 2011. National Action Plan for the Conservation of the Mediterranean Monk Seal in Cyprus. Contract RAC/SPA: N°20/RAC/SPA_2011. 24pp.

Dendrinos, P. and Demetropoulos, A. 2000. The Mediterranean Monk Seal In Cyprus. Monachus Guardian. Monachus Science Posters.

Dendrinos, P., and Demetropoulos, A. 1997. Monk Seal Survey of the Cyprus Coasts. UNEP/MAP (RAC/SPA), Mom (Greece), CWS, Fisheries Department (Cyprus).

Dendrinos, P., Karamanlidis, A.A., Kotomatas, S., Legakis, A., Tounta, E. and Matthiopoulos, J. 2007. Pupping habitat use in the Mediterranean monk seal: a long-term study. Marine Mammal Science 23: 615-628.

Dendrinos, P., Tounta, E. and Kotomatas, S. 2000. A field method for age estimation of Mediterranean monk seal pups. The Monachus Guardian 3: 72-74.

EU Habitats Directive (92/43/ECC) – Report on the main results of the surveillance under article 11 for annex II, IV and V species (Annex B). Reporting period 1997 – 2012.

Hadjichristophorou, M., Demetropoulos, A. 1994. The Mediterranean Monk Seal in Cyprus. In: report of the meeting of experts on the evaluation of the implementation of the Action Plan for the management of the Mediterranean monk seal, Rabat, Morocco, 7-9 October 1994. UNEP(OCA)/MED WG.87/4/Rev. 1, Annex IV: 4-5

Karamanlidis, A. and Dendrinos, P. 2015. Monachus monachus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T13653A45227543. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2015-

Karamanlidis, A.A., Dendrinos, P., Fernandez de Larrinoa, P., Gucu, A.C., Johnson, W.M., Kirac, C.O., Pires, R. 2015a. The Mediterranean monk seal Monachus monachus: status, biology, threats, and conservation priorities. Mammal Rev. 46 (2), 92–105. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/mam.12053.

Marchessaux, D. 1977. Will the Mediterranean monk seal survive? Aquat. Mamm. 5 (3), 87.

Marchessaux, D. 1989. Distribution et statut des populations du phoque moine Monachus monachus (Hermann, 1799). Mammalia 53 (4), 621–642.

MOm 1996. Strategy for the Protection of the Mediterranean Monk Seal Monachus monachus in Greece. Archipelagos—Marine and Coastal Management and Mom/Hellenic Society for the Study and Protection of the Monk Seal (MOm), Athens, Greece. 10 p.

Notarbartolo di Sciara, G. and Kotomatas, S. 2016. Are Mediterranean monk seals, Monachus monachus, being left to save themselves from extinction? In: G. Notarbartolo di Sciara, M. Podestà, B.E. Curry (Editors), Mediterranean marine mammal ecology and conservation. Advances in Marine Biology 75:361-388. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/bs.amb.2016.08.004

Notarbartolo di Sciara, G., Adamantopoulou, S., Androukaki, E., Dendrinos, P., Karamanlidis, A.A., Paravas, V. and Kotomatas, S. 2009a. National Strategy and Action Plan for the Conservation of the Mediterranean Monk Seal in Greece, 2009–2015. Hellenic Society for the Study and Protection of the Mediterranean Monk Seal (MOm), Athens, Greece, p. 19.

Notarbartolo di Sciara, G., Adamantopoulou, S., Androukaki, E., Dendrinos, P., Karamanlidis, A.A., Paravas, V. and Kotomatas, S. 2009b. National strategy and action plan for the conservation of the Mediterranean monk seal in Greece, 2009–2015. Report on evaluating the past and structuring the future. Publication prepared as part of the LIFENature Project: MOFI: Monk Seal and Fisheries: mitigating the conflict in Greek Seas, Hellenic Society for the Study and Protection of the Mediterranean Monk Seal (MOm).71 p. Available from: http://www.monachus-guardian.org/library/notarb09b.pdf.

Ramos-Esplá, A.A., Cebrián, D. and Demetropoulos, A. 2007. Biodiversity Concerns in Integrated Coastal Area Management (ICAM) Coastal Area Management Programme (CAMP) for Cyprus. Project Report on Biodiversity Concerns prepared for RAC/SPA (UNEP/MAP) within the CAMP project. RAC/SPA, University of Alicante and CWS.

Ramos-Espla, A.A., Bayle-Sempere, J.T., Pablo-Sanchez, J., Valle-Perez, P., Gonzalaz Correa, Sanchez-Lizaso, JL., Argyrou, M., Hadjichristophorou, M. and Demetropoulos A. 2004. Identification of sites of conservation interest to elaborate a national management plan for the development of Marine Protected Areas in Cyprus. (MedMPA –EU project. Final Report). Report to RAC/SPA/Department of Fisheries and Marine Research.

UNEP-MAP-RAC/SPA, 2003. Action Plan for the Management of the Mediterranean Monk Seal (Monachus monachus). Regional Activity Centre for Specially Protected Areas (RAC/SPA), Tunis. 12 p. Available from: http://www.monachus-guardian.org/library/unepma87.pdf.

UNEP-MAP-RAC/SPA, 2005. Information report on the status of the monk seal in the Mediterranean. In: Seventh Meeting of the National Focal Points for SPAs, Seville, 31 May–3 June. UNEP(DEC)/MED WG. 268/Inf 3. 45 p.

UNEP-MAP-RAC/SPA, 2006. Report of the International Conference on Monk Seal Conservation. Antalya, Turkey, 17–19 September 2006. UNEP. 69 p. Available from: http://www.rac-spa.org/sites/default/files/doc_monackus/report_int_monk_seal_conf_antalya_2006.pdf.


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