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Distribution – population

The Mediterranean monk seal, Monachus monachus, is the rarest of the 33 extant seal species on Earth. It is also the most endangered marine mammal in Europe and one of the most critically endangered animals known. Of the 800 individuals estimated to survive in and around the Mediterranean, almost half of the population lives in Greek territorial waters. The species prefers deep offshore waters with high zooplankton concentrations but also haul out on land in order to rest, but most importantly to give birth to, and care for, their young. The preferred terrestrial habitat used by monk seals are well-protected marine caves found along remote and inaccessible stretches of coastline.


  • Habitat degradation and destruction
  • Lack of prey due to overfishing
  • Deliberate killing
  • Entanglement in fishing gear
  • Pollution
  • Climate change

Biology – ecology

Diet: Octopus and small fishes

Length: up to 3m.

Weight: up to 350 Kg

Lifespan: up to 40 years