Monk Seal Is One of the 6th Most Critically Endangered Mammals

Orphaned seal Leros IFAW's support of the Mediterranean monk seal organization, MOm, has been responsible for creating a network of people across Greece who help in sharing information about and in rescuing abandoned, displaced and/or stranded seals. IFAW's support has also contributed to the development of a monk seal rehabilitation center in a prime location. The survival of each newborn monk seal is critical to the survival of the species as there are fewer than 500 left in the wild today.

MOm just released the following news on a rescued juvenile monk seal currently being cared for at the rehabilitation center:

An orphaned Mediterranean monk seal was found struggling for her life on December the 10th 2008, at a remote Greek island. Dehydrated, tired and wounded on the head and flippers the female seal was spotted at a beach of Leros Island.  The local port police authorities were immediately notified and under MOm’s guidance had to relocate the baby seal to a safe place as the mother was no where to be seen. 

The 10 days old monk seal, received First Aid upon MOm’s arrival the next day and was urgently transported to the Treatment and Rehabilitation Center of the organization at the Island of Alonissos.  As soon as the treatment against dehydration is completed, the orphaned pup will start receiving fish paste.

The rescue and treatment of the female pup follows international treatment protocols and is carried out by specially trained biologists, in the framework of the EU funded project “MOFI” on the interaction between monk seals and fisheries in Greece.

Once more, Piraeus Bank stood by MOm’s side by supporting the rescue of the orphaned seal, in the framework of the Bank’s its Corporate Social Responsibility program.  For the past 15 years Piraeus Bank has been actively supporting the rescue and treatment of sick or orphaned Monachus monachus pups, a species that is critically endangered and finds shelter mostly in Greek waters.

MOm would like to thank the port police authorities of the Island of Leros and the organization’s local member for their important contribution in the pup’s rescue efforts.

Comments: 4

8 years ago

Very little is known of this seal's reproduction. Scientists have suggested that these seals are polygynous, with males being very territorial where they mate with females. Although there is no breeding season since births take place year round, there is a peak in October and November. This is also the time when caves are prone to wash out due to high surf or storm surge, which causes high mortality rates among monk seal pups, especially at the key Cabo Blanco colony. According to the IUCN species factsheet "pup survival is low; just under 50% survive their first two months to the onset of their moult, and most mortalities occurred in the first two weeks. Survival of pups born from September to January is 29%. This very low survival rate is associated with mortality caused by severe storms, and high swells and tides, but impoverished genetic variability and inbreeding may also be involved. Pups born during the rest of the year had a survival rate of 71%"

9 years ago

Just went to the facebook page! Thanks to Ethiopian Wolves for sharing!
Fred Smilek is the acting president of the Society to Save Endangered Species. It was founded two years ago by Fred Smilek along with his two best friends Charles and Jonathan.

9 years ago

Visitors may be interested to know that they can read more about MOm's monk seal rescue and rehab efforts, and also watch video, at the Monachus Guardian's new Facebook page:
The Monachus Guardian journal, published twice a year, brings news and opinion on monk seal issues from across the range of the Mediterranean and Hawaiian monk seals, and is available at:

9 years ago

all i can say is er should support support campaigns against cruelty to animals.

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