Cartography We have enough up-to-date information about the Earth’s terrain, but as we see the land expand from space, we can still miss the finer details of the biological phenomena.
One such gold nugget recently preserved in northern Cyprus, where researchers found a breeding ground for Mediterranean monk seals (Hawaiian monk seals are snorters) that were unknown before science. Oryx – This discovery, published in the International Journal of Conservation, is a rare piece of good news for the world’s most endangered species of seals. Conservationists can now work to prioritize protected caves in the region to support population continuity.
As an endangered species, the Mediterranean monk seal currently sits in the wild in proportion to only 700 animals. In a press release, the authors of the new study explained that in 2007, a coastal survey of the region identified 39 caves that could potentially be breeding grounds for monk seals – but several of the 39 have already lost development in the area.
Pregnant women are smart parents and they will choose inaccessible and hard-to-access underground caves or, rarely, remote beaches (some even set up camp on a Greek prison island). This is a great way to avoid predators when they are in the most dangerous position. Thankfully, this latest research team from the University of Exeter was able to team up with the Society for the Protection of Turtles (SPOT) and employ monk seals in camera traps as a remote means of observation. Subsequent images were able to confirm that there were breeding caves in northern Cyprus, with only one cave having at least three slippery births between 2016 and 2019. Although few in number, they are strong for such endangered species, but pressure is mounting to protect these areas.
“This coastal area is being rapidly developed [especially] for the construction of hotels,” Dr Robin Snape, of the Exeter Centre for Ecology and Conservation in a statement, “This coastal area is developing rapidly [especially] for hotel construction.” “The main breeding site we identified in this survey currently has no protected status and we are working with local authorities to try to change that.”
Work does not stop there, as another major threat to monastic seals is flowing as bycatch. Protecting breeding grounds is only effective if the surviving puppets not accidentally caught in the fishery. The team is working with the Fisheries and Management Committee in the region to take new measures and protect the bachelor’s degrees in the caves.