A sea animal that vanished from off Mallorca 60 years ago could be back in the waters

The DNA traces of an extremely endangered seal have been discovered in the Balearics.

Technicians made the discovery in the natural parks of the Cabrera and Sa Dragonera as part of a project to determine how many of the Mediterranean monk seals there are in the waters of the archipelago. 

The species is at greatest risk of extinction according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature and are believed to be less than 600 of them worldwide. 

Monk Seal Mallorca
The monk seals disappeared from Mallorca waters 60 years ago.

The monk seal disappeared from Mallorca waters more than 60 years ago, but an increase in sightings off Italy and in the central Mediterranean led researchers to believe the population may be increasing. 

The study ‘spot the monk’ aims to find out when and where the seal’s DNA can be located.

Water samples collected in Cabrera and Sa Dragonera confirmed the presence of the seal monk in the area, meaning some specimen had passed through the waters in a maximum of 14 days from when the water samples were collected, which was two months ago.


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