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Title: Pup survival in the Mediterranean monk seal (Monachus monachus) colony at Cabo Blanco Peninsula (Western Sahara-Mauritania)
Authors: Gazo, Manel
Aparicio, Fernando
Cedenilla, Miguel Angel
Layna, Jorge F.
González, Luis Mariano
UNESCO Clasification: 240119 Zoología marina
Keywords: Population
Mediterranean Monk Seal
Monachus Monachus, et al
Issue Date: 2000
Journal: Marine Mammal Science 
Abstract: We surveyed pup survival in Mediterranean monk seals (Monachus monachus), at Cabo Blanco Peninsula (Western Sahara-Mauritania) colony from May 1993 to December 1997. This species breeds and hauls out on beaches inside two main caves. During the study period we detected a total of 93 pups that died or disappeared. The survival rate of 84 pups through the age of first moult (approximately two months) was 0.47. This value is similar to those reported for other pinnipeds breeding in caves but lower than for those breeding on open beaches. Mortality varied seasonally and appeared to increase as a result of storms, large ocean swells, and high tides. Mother-pup pair separation (and resulting pup starvation) and physical injury caused by impact against the rock walls of he cave and cliffs were established as the causes of most deaths. Beach surface area inside the caves also appeared to be a mediating factor in the effects of sea conditions. High pup mortar;ty may be a limiting growth fact-or in this population, although cave dwelling protects the population from predators and human disturbance.
ISSN: 0824-0469
DOI: 10.1111/j.1748-7692.2000.tb00910.x
Source: Marine Mammal Science [ISSN 0824-0469], v. 16 (1), p. 158-168, (Enero 2000)
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