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Diving picture of Mediterranean monk seal, Gokova Bay Turkey. © Zafer Kizilkaya

Diving picture of Mediterranean monk seal, Gokova Bay Turkey. © Zafer Kizilkaya

A seal's last chance

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Please help save Mediterranean monk seals

Your gift could help fund our trailblazing marine protection initiative in Turkey.

One of the rarest marine mammals now under immense pressure – just 700 are left.

Mediterranean monk seals were once considered an omen of good fortune, yet today they have been brought to the brink of extinction. 

Centuries of overfishing, commercial exploitation and habitat destruction have seen these sorry seals driven from sunny Mediterranean beaches and the secluded caves that they rely on for breeding. 

Please donate now and help save this special species. With your support, we can step up our work to protect their last surviving populations. 


could help buy a motorboat, allowing more teams to move quickly around the areas where these seals live.

Gurveena Ghataure/Fauna & Flora


could help pay for diving gear, enabling wardens to monitor and protect these wonderful seals.


could pay for a camera trap, so protection teams can track where these animals are and when they might be in danger.


could help fuel a patrol boat, ensuring illegal activity isn't able to come near key monk seal areas.

What is the biggest threat to Mediterranean monk seals? 

Tourism is arguably the largest threat to Mediterranean monk seals. The construction of hotels, roads and houses has had a significant impact on pup survival, with some hotels even being built directly on top of caves used by seals for breeding. In areas seeing an influx of tourists, some pupping activity has ceased entirely, and fatal boat strikes have increased. 

Industrial fishing activity is another major threat. Young seals, easily tempted by a quick meal, frequently find themselves entangled in nets and tragically lose their lives this way. In other cases, fishermen have been observed shooting seals in response to damaged fishing equipment or stolen catch.  

The displacement of monk seals has seen them driven from open beaches. They are now confined to cliff-bound coastlines and caves that offer dangers of their own – helpless pups are at risk of being swept to their deaths in violent storms. 

How many Mediterranean monk seals are left? 

Centuries of exploitation has severely depleted this species, and today there are only 600-700 Mediterranean monk seals left in the world. 

But recent conservation efforts are showing incredibly encouraging signs – with your support, we can step up our operations to bring these seals back from the brink. 

Monk seals rely on the same food sources that are targetted by the fishing industry, which is why protected areas - free of fishing boats - are so crucial to avoid the accidental killing of these marvellous creatures.

What is Fauna & Flora doing to save Mediterranean monk seals? 

In Turkish waters, where around 100 of these seals are found, a trailblazing marine protection initiative is underway. Camera traps have been installed inside caves to identify potential breeding sites, and community-led enforcement of no-take zones is seeing an abundance of fish return to the region. 

In incredibly encouraging signs, seals in Gökova Bay have begun breeding at twice the rate typically seen in other areas. 

But their numbers remain incredibly low – more work is needed. 

Through your donations, Fauna & Flora can train and equip community rangers to carry out intensive marine patrols throughout the seal’s range. 

What do rangers need? 

Rangers need diving gear, camera traps and transport to help them navigate the coastlines of Turkey and carry out their crucial work. 

In addition, these dedicated men and women need the funding to be paid a decent wage. It’s vital we give them the resources they need to carry out their demanding work.

Donations are critical to keeping staff supplied with the essential equipment they need to help to protect the seal’s fragile habitat.

Why Fauna & Flora? 

Fauna & Flora has spent decades working on marine conservation across the Americas, Eurasia, Africa and Asia-Pacific.  

In order to save the Mediterranean monk seal from extinction, it is crucial we draw upon our extensive experience working to save our seas and their inhabitants. But this can only be achieved through your support. 

Please donate now, and together we could save these special seals. 

Donate today

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