Cilician Basin IMMA

Area Size

714 km2

Qualifying Species and Criteria

Mediterranean monk seal – Monachus monachus

Criterion A; C (1)

Summary

The Mediterranean monk seal (Monachus monachus) is one of the most Endangered marine mammal species in the Mediterranean Sea. The breeding areas where monk seals raise their pups have been used as key factors to identify important areas for their conservation. The northern coast of the Cilician Basin, between Gazipasa and Tasucu on the Turkish coast, has been studied extensively with cave habitats being monitored by cameras. Individual seals have been identified as well as pups. The area extends seawards to the 200m isobath.

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 area contains important caves that the monk seals use for their resting and breeding. Currently the number is estimated at about 350-450 in the eastern Mediterranean. The survival of even small population units is crucial for the species. There have been 30 seals identified in the area.

Criterion C: Key Life Cycle Activities

Sub-criterion C1: Reproductive Areas

Observation have been recorded of newborns and pups, as well as the existence of suitable caves for pupping and resting. Direct observation of pups is good evidence and the area has been studied since 1990’s. There have been 11 pups recorded for 1995-2001, three caves used with the evidence of breeding. Although a more recent figure is not readily available, the most recent evidence was a stranded pup in 2016.

Supporting Information

Cebrian, D. 2005. Information Report on the Status of the Monk Seal in the Mediterranean. Ed. UNEP/MAP-RAC/SPA. Cilt/Volume 21, Sayı/Issue (3-4): 201–210

Dendrinos, P., Karamanlidis, A.A., Kotomatas, S., Legegakis, A., Tounta, E. and Matthiopoulos, J. 2007b. 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.

Gücü, A.C., Sakinan, S. and Ok, M. 2009. On the occurrence of the critically endangered Mediterranean Monk Seal, Monachus monachus (Hermann, 1779) at Olympos-Beydağları National Park, Antalya, Turkey and its interaction with tourism. Zoology in Middle East. 46:3-8

Gücü, A.C. and Ok M., 2006. Experience and Perspectives in Turkey – Seals of Northeastern Mediterranean. Conference on Monk Seal Conservation 17-18 September 2006 Antalya-Turkey (http://www.rac-spa.org/telechargement/Events/agend.pdf).

Gücü, A.C., Gücü, G. and Orek, H., 2004. Habitat use and preliminary demographic evaluation of the critically endangered Mediterranean monk seal (Monachus monachus) in the Cilician Basin (Eastern Mediterranean) Biological Conservation (116): 417-431.

Gücü, A.C., Ozturk, B. 2010. Scientific rationale for the proposed CIESM North Levant Marine Peace Park. In: MARINE PEACE PARKS IN THE MEDITERRANEAN – Siracusa, 18 – 20 November 2010, CIESM Monograph 41

Güçlüsoy, H., Kıraç, C.O., Veryeri, N.O., Savaş, Y. 2004 Status of the Mediterranean monk seal, Monachus monachus (Hermann, 1779) in the coastal waters of Turkey. E.U. Journal of Fisheries & Aquatic Sciences 2004

Haigh, M. 2004. “Mediterranean Monk Seal Project” Coastal Habitat Survey of the Karpaz Peninsula. TRNC Mediterranean Monk Seal Project Report.

Karamanlidis, A. & Dendrinos, P. 2015. Monachus monachus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T13653A45227543. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2015-4.RLTS.T13653A45227543.en. Downloaded on 27 October 2016.

Karamanlidis, A.A., Dendrinos, P., Fernandez de Larrinoa, P., Gücü, 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.

MOm/Hellenic Society for the Study and Protection of the Monk Seal. Status of the Mediterranean monk seal Monachus monachus in Greece. 2009. MOm, Athens

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. 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., 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., 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.

Report of the Conference on Monk Seal Conservation Antalya – Turkey, 17-19 September 2006 (http://www.monachus-guardian.org/library/rac_spa06f.pdf)

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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