Kingdom: Animalia > Phylum: Chordata > Class: Mammalia > Order: Carnivora > Family: Phocidae > Genus: Monachus > Species: Monachus monachus

Mediterranean monk seal - Monachus monachus (Hermann, 1779)

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Quick facts

Threat status Europe Critically Endangered (IUCN)
EU conservation status by biogeographical region Marine Macaronesian - Bad
Marine Mediterranean - Poor
Protected by EU Habitats Directive and 8 other international agreements
Natura 2000 sites 24 are designated for this species
Most preferred habitats
  • coastal
  • marine inlets and transitional waters
Natura 2000 species code 1366


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Threat and conservation status

IUCN Red List status of threatened species

The IUCN Red List threat status assesses the risk of extinction.

IUCN Red List Category
Not Evaluated
Near Threatened
Regionally Extinct
Not Applicable
Extinct in the Wild
Data Deficient
Least Concern
Critically Endangered

EU conservation status

Conservation status assesses every six years and for each biogeographical region the condition of habitats and species compared to the favourable status as described in the Habitats Directive. The map shows the 2013-2018 assessments as reported by EU Member State. Assessments are further detailed in the summary document available behind the link below.

Natura 2000 sites

Protected in the following Natura 2000 sites

Sitecode Country Site name Action
ES0000336 Spain Isla de Alborán Map
ITA010002 Italy Isola di Marettimo Map
ITA010020 Italy Isola di Pantelleria - Area Costiera, Falesie e Bagno dell'Acqua Map
PTDES0001 Portugal Ilhas Desertas Map
PTMAD0003 Portugal Ponta de S. Lourenço Map
PTMAD0004 Portugal Ilhéu da Viúva Map
IT9150002 Italy Costa Otranto - Santa Maria di Leuca Map
ITA010024 Italy Fondali dell'Arcipelago delle Isole Egadi Map
IT3341002 Italy Aree Carsiche della Venezia Giulia Map
ITA010027 Italy Arcipelago delle Egadi - area marina e terrestre Map
CY3000005 Cyprus KAVO GKREKO Map
ITB020014 Italy Golfo di Orosei Map
ES6110015 Spain Alborán Map
IT3340006 Italy Carso Triestino e Goriziano Map
ES6300001 Spain Islas Chafarinas Map
ITA010030 Italy Isola di Pantelleria e area marina circostante Map
ESZZ16005 Spain Espacio marino de Alborán Map
CY3000002 Cyprus SPA KAVO GKREKO Map
PTZPE0063 Portugal Ilhas Desertas Map
PTZPE0064 Portugal Ponta de S. Lourenço Map
PTMMD0001 Portugal Cetáceos da Madeira Map
CY4000024 Cyprus OCEANID Map

Protected sites

Please note the site map takes a while to display.

Legal status

Legal text Annex Conditions More information
Council Directive 92/43/EEC of 21 May 1992 on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora - consolidated version 01/01/2007 (EU Habitats Directive)
Convention on the conservation of European wildlife and natural habitats (Bern Convention)

Resolution No. 6 (1998) of the Bern Convention lists the species requiring specific habitat conservation measures [and the designation of Areas of Special Conservation Interest (ASCIs) forming for the Emerald network]
Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals. (Bonn Convention)
Memorandum of Understanding concerning Conservation Measures for the Eastern Atlantic Populations of the Mediterranean Monk Seal (Monachus monachus) - under Bonn Convention (MSeal)
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)
Commission regulation (EU) No 1320/2014, of 1 December 2014, amending Council Regulation (EC) No 338/97 on the protection of species of wild fauna and flora by regulating trade therein (EU regulation of trade of fauna and flora)
Barcelona Convention Protocol concerning Specially Protected Areas and Biological Diversity in the Mediterranean (SPA/BD Protocol)

Common names and synonyms

Common Name Language Reference
Akdeniz foku Turkish Mitchell-Jones, A.J. & al.
Bumerin Maltese Mitchell-Jones, A.J. & al.
Foca monaca Italian Mitchell-Jones, A.J. & al.
Foca monje Spanish Mitchell-Jones, A.J. & al.
Foca monje del Mediterráneo Spanish EC-DGXI.d2, ETC/NC
Foca-episcop Romanian Mitchell-Jones, A.J. & al.
Foca-monge Portuguese EC-DGXI.d2, ETC/NC
Foka e Mesdheut Albanian Mitchell-Jones, A.J. & al.
Lobo-marinho Portuguese Mitchell-Jones, A.J. & al.
Mediterrán barátfóka Hungarian Mitchell-Jones, A.J. & al.
Mediterranean monk seal English Mitchell-Jones, A.J. & al.
Middelhavsmunkesel Norwegian Mitchell-Jones, A.J. & al.
Mittelmeer Mönchsrobbe German EC-DGXI.d2, ETC/NC
Mönchsrobbe German Mitchell-Jones, A.J. & al.
Monka Maltese Mitchell-Jones, A.J. & al.
Monniksrob Dutch Mitchell-Jones, A.J. & al.
Munkaselur Icelandic Mitchell-Jones, A.J. & al.
Munkesæl Danish Mitchell-Jones, A.J. & al.
Munkhüljes Estonian Mitchell-Jones, A.J. & al.
Munkkihylje Finnish Mitchell-Jones, A.J. & al.
Munksäl Swedish Mitchell-Jones, A.J. & al.
Phoque moine French Mitchell-Jones, A.J. & al.
Sredozemna medvjedica Croatian Mitchell-Jones, A.J. & al.
Sredozemska medvedjica Slovenian Mitchell-Jones, A.J. & al.
Synonym Author
Phoca monachus Hermann, 1779
Phoca albiventer Boddaert, 1785
Phoca atlantica Gray, 1854
Phoca bicolor Shaw, 1800
Phoca hermannii Lesson, 1828
Phoca leucogaster Peron, 1817
Monachus mediterraneus Nilsson, 1838
Heliophoca atlantica Gray, 1854

Other resources

CoL (accepted name) Catalogue of Life
EoL Encyclopedia of Life
Fauna Europaea Fauna Europaea
GBIF Global Biodiversity Information Facility
Habitats Directive Art. 17-2006 summary
ITIS (Valid name) Interagency Taxonomic Information System
NCBI National Center for Biotechnology Information
PESI (Accepted) Pan-European Species directories Infrastructure
Species+ Species+ by UNEP-WCMC
Wikipedia Wikipedia
WoRMS World Register of Marine Species

External data

European Environment Agency (EEA)
Kongens Nytorv 6
1050 Copenhagen K
Phone: +45 3336 7100