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11th May, 2012

Conservation award for Madeira monk seals

Rosa Pires, Parque Natural da Madeira Service

The prize ceremony took place on May 7 in Lisbon, and was attended by the Portuguese Minister for Agriculture, Forestry, Sea and Land Management, Assunção Cristas. Photo: Pablo Larrinoa.

The project “Monk Seal — a recovering species in Madeira” of the Parque Natural da Madeira Service was the project winner of the 2012 BES Biodiversity award.

The award is an initiative of the Portuguese bank Espírito Santo in partnership with the Research Centre in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources (CIBIO) of Porto University and the Institute for Nature Conservation and Biodiversity (ICNB).

Awarded annually, BES Biodiversity is currently the largest Portuguese award for research and business activity in environmental conservation and aims to recognize innovative research projects, conservation and biodiversity management in Portugal.

According to the BES press release, the fifth edition of this award was devoted to the theme “Biodiversity: Research and Conservation” and sought to distinguish conservation research projects with a strong practical component and results. The prize was awarded in recognition of the unique work in preservation and recovery of the endangered Mediterranean monk seal.

With the project prize, 75.000 Euros, the Parque Natural da Madeira Service intends to maintain the solid and continuous work that has been done in Madeira through the involvement of Madeira citizens in the monk seals’ protection, through the surveillance of their habitat and through improvement of the monitoring system by using automatic cameras. This task will link the Parque Natural da Madeira Service and the CBD-Habitat Foundation of Spain, which is already using this system to monitor monk seals in the Western Sahara.

2 comments to Conservation award for Madeira monk seals

  • Giuseppe Notarbartolo di Sciara

    Fully deserved!

  • Luigi Guarrera

    We are all very happy for the prize assigned to the Parque Natural da Madeira! The Park staff really deserved it for all the fantastic activity performed in the last years for the conservation of Monk Seals and their local habitat. We strongly hope that other activists and protected areas administrations in the sensible Mediterranean countries will follow the Madeira’s example of a virtuous management of the rare marine mammal species, so to improve their conservation for the future generations to come. Brava Rosa Pires, bravi to you all!!
    Luigi Guarrera – Gruppo Foca Monaca Italia

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