Headlines – News – Articles
7th April, 2015

Pregnant monk seal found dead in Lebanon

The death of a pregnant Mediterranean monk seal has been reported in Beirut near the “Cave of seals” at Raouche Beach. The discovery is thought to have taken place last week, on 31 March 2015. A locally performed necropsy did not reveal any signs of foul play, though it is not yet known how comprehensive the procedure was.

Despite being considered extinct in Lebanon since the 1950s, rare sporadic sightings in more recent years have raised hopes of the monk seal’s return.

Further information is available on Lebanon’s Green Area website.

17th May, 2011

Hundreds of species face extinction across Europe in ‘crisis of biodiversity’

Media Watch, Mail Online, 17 May 2011

young mediterranean monk sealHundreds of species are facing extinction across Europe in a ‘crisis of biodiversity’.

According to the EU’s Environment Commissioner Janez Potocnik, animals such as the Iberian lynx, the Mediterranean monk seal and the Bavarian pine vole could soon be gone.

These are among hundreds of species – up to a quarter of the total native to the continent – that are threatened with extinction according to a warning issued this month by the European Union.

‘Biodiversity is in crisis, with species extinctions running at unparalleled rates,’ said a statement from Mr Potocnik.

The threatened species include mammals, amphibians, reptiles, birds and butterflies and plant life is also under threat.

The crisis is due to several factors, including loss of habitat, pollution, alien species encroachment, climate change and overfishing.

Critics say the EU’s proposed solutions don’t go far enough and lack funding. […Continues…]

Source: Hundreds of species face extinction across Europe in ‘crisis of biodiversity’, Mail Online, 17 May 2011.

19th December, 2010

New books focus on the Caribbean monk seal

Two new books announced last week focus on the extinct Caribbean monk seal, Monachus tropicalis.

Caribbean Monk Seals: Lost Seals of the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea by John Hairr is published by Coachwhip Publications, and includes sections on the species’ various fateful interactions with humans, from native Americans to European explorers, hunters and ‘scientific’ expeditions.

The publisher states: ‘The Caribbean monk seal was a significant and charismatic member of the tropical marine ecosystem of southern Florida, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Caribbean Sea. Author John Hairr delves into the fascinating history of a marine mammal that met its match in man, as overhunting for meat and oil (and even scientific specimens) drove it to extinction. Hairr looks at the intersections between this seal and the various cultures it encountered over the centuries, the narratives of a playful pinniped from the few times it was kept in captivity, and the expeditions that sought out any last remaining survivors of a vanishing species.’

Paperback: 198 pages
Publisher: Coachwhip Publications (January 3, 2011)
ISBN-10: 1616460636
ISBN-13: 978-1616460631
Price: $14.95 (USD)

The second book, Remembering a Species: A History of the Caribbean Monk Seal in Captivity by Charles Epting, is published by Lulu, the publisher’s blurb stating: ‘This book chronicles the fascinating, untold story of the Caribbean Monk Seal: the only seal native to the Caribbean Sea, the only species of true seal that has gone extinct in recent times, and, perhaps most interestingly, the only species of recently extinct mammalian carnivore that was displayed in captivity. This book looks at both scientific sources and primary sources to gather what is known about this species’ life in captivity in one volume.’

Paperback: 73 pages
Publisher: Lulu  (December 4, 2010)
ISBN 978-0-557-92778-4
Price: $7.95 (paperback) | $3.95 (download PDF)