Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Mediterranean Monk Seals

In writing Burnt Amber, I tried to include as many unique things about Turkey as possible. Some of these things I was not aware of even though I had lived there. For example, the Mediterranean Monk Seal. It’s no surprise I didn’t see one. There are about 500 left in the world and only 100 in Turkey.

From Burnt Amber:

"Seals born in the summer have the best chance.” Seyhan explained. “The research team was locating as many of them as possible and tagging them for data.”

Sibel’s villa at Aykar is on the fringe of Cilicia Trachea, home to monk seals because of the isolated mountainous terrain. Cliffs come right down to the sea, forming coves and sea caves where the seals can breed and live undisturbed by man.

Over the years, fishermen targeted the seals because they would ruin nets and steal fish. However, the main reason for the decline in population is loss of habitat. Though Sibel and her friends do dive into a cave, it is really best to leave the seals in peace.

For more information about the seals in Turkey and how to help, visit http://www.sadafag.org/english/index.php?bolum=akdeniz-foku

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