Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10553/49309
Title: Status and distribution of the Mediterranean monk seal Monachus monachus on the Cabo Blanco peninsula (Western Sahara-Mauritania) in 1993-1994
Authors: González, Luis M.
Aguilar, Alex
López-Jurado, Luis F. 
Grau, Esteve
UNESCO Clasification: 240119 Zoología marina
250501 Biogeografía
Keywords: Mediterranean monk seal
Western Sahara-Mauritania
Geographic distribution
Habitat
Population
Issue Date: 1997
Publisher: 0006-3207
Journal: Biological conservation 
Abstract: The current geographical distribution of the Mediterranean monk seal Monachus monachus colony inhabiting the Cabo Blanco peninsula (Western Sahara-Mauritania) is described. Its distribution range has apparently not changed since surveys conducted in 1984–1988. Sightings of adults on the Tarf el Guerguerat coast, 20 km north of the known breeding caves, suggests the existence of other possible breeding groups further north. Two caves used by the seals are described for the first time. A review of historical trends in cave occupation by seals made it possible (1) to locate the so-called ‘maternity cave’, last reported in 1949; and (2) to establish that the colony, since its discovery, has occupied at least eight caves, five of which have collapsed. An index of population size based on counts of individuals of identified morphological types indicates that, during 1993–1994, the colony was composed of c.113–165 individuals (excluding pups), a larger number than previously assumed. Counting of seals at times of maximum haul-out is proposed as a tool to monitor population trends, although it is considered unreliable for estimating absolute numbers.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10553/49309
ISSN: 0006-3207
DOI: 10.1016/S0006-3207(96)00146-2
Source: Biological Conservation [ISSN 0006-3207], v. 80, p. 225-233
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