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The Mediterranean Monk Seal was once widely distributed all over the Mediterranean, parts of the Black Sea, and along the Atlantic coast, from Portugal through the Azores, the Canary Islands and down to Senegal. Today, it is considered one of the most endangered marine mammals in the world. Barely more than 700 animals are left in the entire area of distribution.
Dear <<First Name>> <<Last Name>>,

Have you heard of the Mediterranean Monk Seal? You haven’t? No wonder, as ten years ago, the species was in danger of extinction. Today, there are localised signs of recovery, for instance thanks to the strong conservation efforts on the Atlantic coast of Mauritania. This conservation success was made possible by supporters like you, <<First Name>> <<Last Name>>.
 
Successful turnaround 

15th century: Portuguese sailors come across thousands of Mediterranean Monk Seals during a reconnaissance mission. This marks the beginning of a long time of intensive hunting. The seals’ blubber is used as lamp fuel, their fur is made into coats and their meat serves as food.

1923: French biologist Theodore Monod searches for Mediterranean Monk Seal colonies on the Sahara coast. He finds only a small number of animals in the sea, but neither breeding sites nor colonies.

1945: Spanish naturalist Eugenio Morales Agacino stumbles across Monk Seals at Cap Blanc Peninsula in Mauritania. It turns out that this is the last large Monk Seal colony on the African coast.

1997: A toxic algal bloom decimates the Monk Seal colony in Mauritania to only around 100 animals. The Mediterranean Monk Seal is on the brink of extinction.

2001: At Cap Blanc, Mauritania, a 6 km stretch of coastline is placed under protection. Since then, the Monk Seal colony on the “Costa de las Focas” more than tripled.
 

Today, the Cap Blanc Peninsula is home to around 400 animals again. Specially trained rangers of our partner organisation CBD Habitat continuously survey their habitat, on land and in the water. They report illegal fishing activities and ensure that these wary animals are not disturbed in their breeding caves.
This is how free and undisturbed the Mediterranean Monk Seal colony can live at the Cap Blanc today.
Your trust and support make this happen. Thank you very much!


Sigrid Lüber
President OceanCare
Your donation helps to protect monk seals.
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Pictures ©CBD Habitat
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Address:
OceanCare
Gerbestrasse 6
8820 Wädenswil
Switzerland
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OceanCare · Gerbestrasse 6, Postfach 372 · Wädenswil, Schweiz 8820 · Switzerland