In a rare piece of environmental good news, the Hellenic Society for the Study & Protection of the Monk Seal (MOm) on Monday announced that the seal (Monachus monachus) has made an unlooked-for comeback in the Aegean, with its population recovering to the point where it is no longer considered “critically endangered.”
The monk seal has now dropped down one category in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, from “critically endangered” to “endangered.”
MOm announced the news after it was informed by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which made the decision based on a reassessment of the species’ status carried out by MOm researchers, based on specific biological criteria.
MOm worked with experts throughout the world to collect and evaluate the most recent data available concerning the conservation status of the monk seal, a MOm announcement said. They also noted positive developments in recent years in at least three of the four main regions of the monk seal’s range, among them Greece. At the same time, there have been significant advances in knowledge concerning the biology and threats faced by the species.