Control C7-Tarj 2- M.C.- 017 - copia


Our team works since 20 years ago, although with different acronyms, for the protection of the Mediterranean monk seal at Cabo Blanco peninsula. And if there is something that we learned is that the protection of seals or any other endangered species, cannot be understood or managed aside of a wide number of human interests, or even aside the preservation of more complex and wider natural processes.

And what could it be more determinant for the species than climate?

The celebration of the climate summit at Paris about the climate change lead us to think about this issue.

Even if the natural processes are very complex and it is almost impossible to specify in which sense the climate change could affect a species as the monk seal, the truth is that there are some worrying predictions, which at least are starting to rise all the alarms.

First of all, the ocean absorbs great quantities of CO2 from the atmosphere and seeing the actual scenery and the one that is foreseen for end of the century, there would be an increase of the acidity of the water. This will affect trophic chains (starting by the phytoplankton) and therefore multitude of species. And the monk seal is a top predator on the trophic chain…

What’s more, seas are estimated to absorb between 80 and 90% of the accumulated increased temperature by the planet. This provokes a water expansion, which summed to ice fusion of glaciers and polar areas, gives as result the increment of the sea level. In fact, the average sea level increased already around 15cm on the past century and it is foreseen an additional increase of 18cm by 2030. And without any doubt this will not stop here. Predictions for the end of the century are very alarming.

The most imminent risk for the monk seal, related to global warming, is at the breeding caves. At present at Cabo Blanco, between 25 and 40% of pups die before two months of age, mostly caused by the effect of bad weather and spring tides on the inside of caves. On these conditions a little increase of sea level could have serious effects on pup survival.

Will seals be able to adapt to the coming fast changes? What is clear is that we have new factors of uncertainty for the protection of this species.

And there is no doubt about the fact that we have to unite efforts to reduce this serious risk for live as we know it now, and work for a new model of development, truly sustainable.

Let’s thinks about how this planet was two generations ago and how it would be by the next two. What are we leaving to future generations?

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