Northern Sporades IMMA
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
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.
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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
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