Northern Sporades IMMA

Area Size

10 623 km2

Qualifying Species and Criteria

Mediterranean monk seal – Monachus monachus

Criterion A; C (1)

Marine Mammal Diversity 

Delphinus delphis, Tursiops truncatus, Stenella coeruleoalba, Grampus griseus, Ziphius cavirostris, Physeter macrocephalus

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This area includes the National Marine Park of Alonissos and Northern Sporades, which was established specifically to protect a colony of Endangered Mediterranean monk seals (Monachus monachus). The area extends eastward to include the island of Agios Eustratios as well as the coastal waters of the northern Evia island, where monk seal pupping is regularly reported. The seal population in the Northern Sporades is estimated at 52 adult individuals, and as such it can be considered a major concentration at the species level.

Description of Qualifying Criteria

Criterion A – Species or Population Vulnerability

The Mediterranean monk seal Monachus monachus is assessed as Endangered [EN C2a(i)] in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The minimum number estimated for the area is 60 animals, including pups, which represents 9.2% of the global population.

Criterion C: Key Life Cycle Activities

Sub-criterion C1: Reproductive Areas

The main criterion upon which the IMMA was identified was based on the knowledge that the area contains important breeding nuclei of monk seals, which contains 13 breeding shelters and 35 resting shelters. This information, and the occurrence of pupping in the area, was collected by the National Park of Alonissos and Northern Sporades (NPANS) and collaborating scientists.

Supporting Information

Adamantopoulou, S., Androukaki, E., Kotomatas, S. 1999. The distribution of the Mediterranean monk seal in Greece based on an information network. Contributions to the Zoogeography and Ecology of the Eastern Mediterranean Region 1(1999):399-404.


Cebrian, D. 1998. La foca monje (Monachus monachus Hermann 1779) en el Mediterráneo oriental (Grecia y Croacia). Ed. Universidad Complutense de Madrid. Madrid. 367 pp plus 2 appendices.

Cebrian, D. 2005. Information Report on the Status of the Monk Seal in the Mediterranean. Ed. UNEP/MAP-RAC/SPA.

Frantzis, A. 2009. Cetaceans in Greece: present status of knowledge. Initiative for the Conservation of Cetaceans in Greece, Athens, Greece. 94 p.

Karamanlidis, A., Dendrinos, P. 2015. Monachus monachus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T13653A45227543. 13 p.

Karamanlidis, A.A., Dendrinos, P., Fernández de Larrinoa, P., Gücü, A.C., Johnson, W.M., Kiraç, C.O., Pires, R. 2015. The Mediterranean monk seal Monachus monachus: status, biology, threats, and conservation priorities. Mammal Review 46(2):92-105. DOI: 10.1111/mam.12053

Kotzageorgis, G., Mantzavelas, A., Hadjicharalambous, E., Defingou, M., Gioutlakis, M., Papagrigoriou, S., Alexandridou, E. (Editor) 2015, “Deliverable C7: New Natura 2000 areas or Natura 2000 sites proposal with digital or printed maps, filled in Standard Data Forms and new updated Natura 2000 database (Access 2003) with data from the new proposed areas”. YΡEN, Athens, Joint venture of Enveco S.A., Omikron S.A., Karolidis Theodoros, Fyselias Spyridon, Consultant EKVY, pages 124

Legakis, A. & Maragou, P. 2009. The Red List of Endangered Animals of Greece. Hellenic Zoological Society, Athens, 528 p.

Notarbartolo di Sciara, G., Bearzi, G. 2010. National Strategy and Action Plan for the conservation of cetaceans in Greece, 2010-2015. Initiative for the Conservation of Cetaceans in Greece, Athens. 55 pp.

Notarbartolo di Sciara, G., 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.

Notarbartolo di Sciara, G., Adamantopoulou, S., Androukaki, E., Dendrinos, P., Karamanlidis, A.A., Paravas, V., Kotomatas, S. 2009. National strategy and action plan for the conservation of the Mediterranean monk seal in Greece, 2009 ‐ 2015. MOm, Athens: 1‐ 19.


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