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StartNASAHistorical Romans might have triggered decline of the world’s rarest seals

Historical Romans might have triggered decline of the world’s rarest seals


Populations of Mediterranean monk seals started shrinking when seafaring civilisations expanded across the Mediterranean basin



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24 Might 2022

Monk Seal, Monachus monachus, Alonissos Island, GreeceMonk seal, Monachus monachus, which enters and swims in the sea. Endangered species. Alonissos Island, Sporades Islands, Greece (Photo by Cristian Umili/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images)

A Mediterranean monk seal in Greece

Cristian Umili/Mondadori Portfolio through Getty Photographs

The rarest seal species on the earth began its inhabitants decline millennia in the past, presumably because of the rise of historic human civilisations.

Mediterranean monk seals (Monachus monachus) are exceptionally endangered. As soon as widespread all through the Mediterranean Sea, Black Sea and hotter North Atlantic coastlines, there are presently only some hundred left in disjointed populations.

Earlier analysis has proven that these teams have low genetic variation, leaving them prone to illness and different threats. However it wasn’t clear exactly how these seals turned so weak. …

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