The importance of a birth

P805. That is the brand new number with which we are starting the 2015 breeding season. A breeding season that has started over a month earlier than the last ones. In fact it has been a very long time since “Costa de las Focas” reserve had a pup on March.

Over the last few years we have seen how the number of pups has been increasing. On 2014, the colony almost reached 70 births! A very high number and a real index of the success of the conservation measures that are being applied at “Costa de las Focas” reserve.

And why is it something to be very happy about? Well, please, bear in mind that less than 10 years ago, births only reached close to 30 pups per year! In fact on 2005 only 29 pups were born. Those total births are less than the close to 40 survivor pups of 2014!!

Close to 40? Yes, unfortunately some pups die before reaching the first molt. First weeks of life are one of the most critical age stages for the species, and even though mortality rates vary between years, close to 30-40% of pups die before two months of age for different causes.

That is why it is so encouraging to detect new pups. Every single birth at the colony is very heartening because it adds to the total number of births of a year; and the more births the population has per breeding season, the more chances of more pups survivors, if compared to previous years.

But many more things have to be done, and many more actions have to be developed. The truth is that this species is still one of the most endangered of the world and despite the very good news, the program has to be very focused and work very hard to keep those good news happening. Because the many threats that are still faced by the species, have to be eliminated or at least controlled.

Every single help could mean a world. Would you like to be part of this great experience of helping a species as emblematic as the Mediterranean monk seal? Please join us. At our web page you will find few ways of helping out, and if you do not find yours, please write us to


  1. Really good news… but when do you think it will be the moment to reintroduce seals in canary islands and in the iberian peninsule? There is one seal population isolated and endangered in Portugal in Azores and we all remember the terrible toxic seaweed that almost kill all the colony of costa de las focas… Anyway congratulations for your succesful work that give us hope to see again seals swimming in the Mediterranean sea

  2. Son muy buenas noticias pero espero que no tarden mucho en reintroducirlas en las Canarias y en el Mediterraneo no vaya a ser que vuelva a ver una invasión de algas tóxicas como la que hubo que casi acabó con la colonia. Además hay una población aislada en Madeira que necesita urgentemente un refuerzo genético y las canarias podrían servir de puente entre las dos colonias. Enhorabuena por el gran trabajo que hace el equipo

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