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Mediterranean Monk Seal

Mediterranean Monk Seal Close UpCMediterranean Monk Seals basking on the rocksritically Endangered

I was researching the different marinas on the peninsula (Bodrum, Turgutreis and Yalikavak), and on the Yalikavak Marina page they mentioned about the Mediterranean Monk Seal.  Which according to the World Conservation Union is ”critically endangered”.

So I got sidetracked from my Marina research, and started surfing for Seals.  I came across a lot of information on the web about this species (Latin Name: Monachus monachus), so I whittled the list down to create:

My Top 10 List of Mediterranean Monk Seal facts:

Fact Sheet Logo for Monk Seal

  1. The Mediterranean monk seal is one of the world’s most endangered marine mammals, with fewer than 600 individuals currently surviving
  2. Mediterranean monk seals mostly seek refuge in inaccessible caves, often along remote, cliff-bound coasts
  3. Adult males are black with a white belly patch; adult females are generally brown or grey with a lighter belly colouration, and both can live up to 23-30 years in the wild
  4. Monk seal pups can swim and dive with ease by the time they are about two weeks old and are weaned at about 16-17 weeks
  5. Monk seals are mainly thought to feed in coastal waters for fish and cephalopods, such as octopus and squid
  6. The main threats arrayed against the Mediterranean monk seal include: habitat deterioration and loss by coastal development, including disturbance by tourism and pleasure boating
  7. In ancient Greece, because monk seals showed a great love for both sun and sea, they were placed under the protection of Poseidon and Apollo
  8. One of the first coins, minted around 500 BC, depicted the head of a monk seal, and the creatures were immortalized in the writings of Homer, Plutarch and Aristotle
  9. To fishermen and seafarers, catching sight of the animals frolicking in the waves or loafing on the beaches was considered to be an omen of good fortune
  10. Because the Monk Seal was known to sleep so soundly, the right flipper of a seal placed under the pillow, was thought to cure insomnia

I thought number 10 was interesting, but I’m not condoning it as a viable course of action!  If you can’t sleep – opt for a glass of Camomile Tea instead.

Yalikavak Belediyesi Logo of Windmill and Monk Seal

Yalikavak Monk Seals

So why did the Yalikavak Marina page lead me on a fact finding mission for the Mediterranean Monk Seal, and why is this relevant for my Bodrum Peninsula Travel Guide?

Well the reason there’s a Seal in the Yalikavak Belediyesi logo, is because the Yalikavak coastline hosts one of the few remaining groups of Mediterranean Monk Seal in existence.

I know where the Seals are basking, but if I tell you — I’ll have to silence you… or at least cut off your right arm for a sound nights sleep!




©  Picture of Seals basking on an open beach (1820), photo by David M. Lavigne archive
©  Feature Photo of Map, Photo of Seal on a Water Jug, and Monk Seal by Schenellma
©  All of the Mediterranean Monk Seal Information and photo’s were sourced from Monachus-Guardian

Monk Seal Logo for Monachus Guardian


This Donate button will take you to the Donation page of the Monachus Guardian site, so that you can make a financial contribution to help with the preservation of the Mediterranean Monk Seal:

Donate Logo for the Monachus Guardian site


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Permanent link to this article: https://www.bodrumpeninsulatravelguide.co.uk/mediterranean-monk-seal/

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  1. alice

    I love the Mediterranean monk seals
    alice recently posted..Art Walk and Craft Stalls in YalikavakMy Profile

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