Headlines – News – Articles
17th June, 2009

Monk seal sighting at Giglio Island

by Luigi Bundone and Luigi Guarrera, Gruppo Foca Monaca
Giglio Island, Italy, 7 June 2009 (Photo Marco Prete)

Giglio Island, Italy, 7 June 2009 (Photo Marco Prete)

Last Sunday 7 June, in the waters of Giglio Island, Tuscan Archipelago, another individual was sighted not far from the tower of Giglio Campese. The encounter lasted for about two hours, thanks in part to the considerate attitude shown by people present during the event. Franca Zanichelli, the Director of the National Park of the Tuscan Archipelago, released a short interview to the Italian press agency ANSA: “I am really enthusiastic, we have immediately verified the sighting together with GFM Italia, a group we cooperate with since a long time. In fact I am not so much surprised by the news: I am pretty aware that, even if these animals are rare, they still live in our sea. And the behaviour of the observers was very good, they did not disturb the seal, receiving as a perfect gift in exchange an experience that would represent an impossible dream for many naturalists”.

Giglio Island, Italy, 7 June 2009 (Photo Marco Prete)

Giglio Island, Italy, 7 June 2009 (Photo Marco Prete)

Despite all the pessimistic views that consider the Mediterranean monk seal extinct along Italian coasts, during the last 10 years we have recorded several other sightings, some of them verified by clear photographic evidence.

Giglio Island, Italy, 7 June 2009 (Photo Marco Prete)

Giglio Island, Italy, 7 June 2009 (Photo Marco Prete)

On 18 April this year, while travelling on board their inflatable, not far from Arbatax, Sardinia, a specimen was sighted by a group of Sardinian friends close to their boat. Andrea Usala, who reported the sighting to the local newspaper “L’Unione Sarda”, was also interviewed by Emanuele Coppola, GFM-Gruppo Foca Monaca Italia. Following standard interview techniques on the animal and its behaviour, the sighting was evaluated as credible.

1 comment to Monk seal sighting at Giglio Island

  • marcello ebau

    Salve….sono contento che oltre alla foca monaca siete anche riapparsi voi del GFM, è sempre stato molto difficile comunicare con voi….e le poche volte le risposte sono sempre state misurate…Vi è piaciuto il blog creato da me focamonacasardegna? E sono anche molto contento di aver visto citato dal sig Bundone un mio lavoro del 1996 sulla foca in sardegna …un caro saluto a Emanuele e buon lavoro.

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