BritsinCrete.gr asks you to help support the efforts to save from extinction the shy Mediterranean Monk Seal which is found in Greece's coastal waters. Monk seals (L: genus Monachus) have been living on Earth for 15 million years. Today in the European Union, however, the most ancient of Monk Seal species the Mediterranean Monk Seal - L: Monachus monachus is on the most critically endangered animal list. Its total remaining population is less than 600 individuals, of which 250-300 is thought to be in the coastal waters of Greece. According to the World Wide Fund for Nature - WWF Greece there are some 35 species of seal living in the world today. Only three species of the genus Monachus live in warm water. One, the Caribbean monk seal, became extinct in the 1950’s.
Looking back over millennia, references to the Mediterranean monk seal appear in ancient Greek texts attesting to the attention mankind has given to this mammal. In 8th Century BC Greek mythology, Homer mentions the species in the 4th book of the Odyssey. In the book Menelaus tells Telemachus, the son of Odysseus and Penelope of his meeting with Proteus, the sea god who protected the sea’s animals, including seals. Later, historian Herodotus (500BC), scientist, Aristotle (circa 300BC), and philospher, Plutarch (circa 100BC) also mentioned the monk seal in their recorded observations and writings.
Greek waters are today home to the largest concentrations of the Mediterranean seal population. Most live around the islands of the Northern Sporades, the Ionian Sea, the Cyclades, and the Dodecanese.
The Mediterranean monk seal can grow up to three metres long. The bulls are noticeably larger than the females. This streamlined aquatic mammal with flippers is intelligent and graceful but is particularly sensitive to any disturbance. While seals dive for fish, octopus and squid they come ashore to rest and breed. The seals reproduce their offspring in natural caves along Greece's shoreline. A cow monk seal gives birth to just one pup usually every one or two years. A pup is also referred to as a whelp or calf.
Many factors are driving the Mediterranean Monk Seal into extinction:
Χρειαζόμαστε την βοήθειά σου και την υποστήριξή σου στην προσπάθειά μας να ευαισθητοποιήσουμε τον κόσμο για να βρεθεί το μικρό κορίτσι που απήχθη κατά την διάρκεια των διακοπών που έκανε με τους γονείς της στην Πορτογαλία. Ταυτόχρονα, στέλνουμε το μήνυμα, ότι δεν πρόκειται να ανεχθούμε από κανέναν να απαγάγει τα παιδιά μας. Δεν πρόκειται να καθίσουμε με σταυρωμένα τα χέρια και δεν θα αφήσουμε κανένα άλλο παιδί να μετατραπεί απλά σε στατιστικό στοιχείο. Αυτή η υπόθεση ανοίγει τον δρόμο σε έναν νέο τρόπο ενημέρωσης παγκοσμίως για απαγωγές παιδιών.
Photo Credit: Arthur's Family
The #Find Arthur campaign has gone global to locate missing British pensioner, Robert "Arthur" Jones, a 73 year old from Denbigh in North Wales. Arthur went missing in the Chania area of Crete on June 19, 2014. The "Missing People" charity (missingpeople.org.uk) has turned the search into a worldwide one initiated by Lee Hadwin of the charity with a Leah Roberts from Denbigh. Personalities including the American comedian, Alan Carr and actress Morgan Fairchild back the campaign. American actor, @ripper_street star #AdamRothenberg is the latest to join in the worldwide search.Add a comment
Conservation of water in Greece, particularly Crete has never been more important than now. Use less, conserve more! British and Irish Ex-pats living in the Greek Islands can support the natural ecosystems, that is to say, planting of more vegetation by way of grasses and trees, promote wildlife habitat, and be more economical in using less water overall, especially in the home and garden. Ex-pats can also support World Water Day, March 22 every year.
Article Author: Gerald Brown, webmaster at Brits in Crete.