Turkey in June (Med. Monk Seal)?

I’m visiting a collaborator in Turkey this June, and I’m going to make an attempt to see a Mediterranean Monk Seal near the beginning of the month. Would anyone be interested in joining me? I’m in contact with someone about arranging a boat trip to the best areas to observe the Seals. I’ll have more details soon.

I’m also planning to travel around S Turkey (Birecik, Aladag, etc) primarily to look for birds but I’ll be searching for mammals as well. See Jon’s trip report: http://mammalwatching.com/Palearctic/palearctturkey.html.



  • John Fox

    That’s an interesting proposition, Ben, do you have any leads about actually finding the seals? They are down to extremely low numbers by all the accounts I have read.

    I would make an effort if there’s a decent chance of seeing them.


  • geomalia

    AFAG (a Turkish NGO to protect the Monk Seal) put me in touch with one of their local representatives who knows the “best monk seal observing localities.” He can run a boat trip to visit those sites. I emailed him to ask about the probability of success , and I’ll post here when he responds.

  • Rasmus Due

    While birding the Göksu Delta late April 2013 another birder and I saw a Seal. We saw it several times and we were almost certain it was a Monk Seal. We later spoke with some local fishermen who said that two Monk Seals (adult + cub, or at least a bigger and a smaller animal) had been present since early april. They saw them almost every morning while heading out to fish on the long sand spit south of the delta. Maybe its worth checking out? The area is good for birding and the sandspit sometimes have Greater Sand-plover.
    If you want some additional mammal notes from our trip I could send them to you?!

  • markhows

    I would like to know a bit more, feel free to contact me off line

  • SLahaye

    Hi Ben,

    I’d also be interested in more details, especially if you plan your trip towards the end of june.


  • geomalia

    Does anyone who is interested speak French? The AFAG representative/fisherman speaks it fluently, and it would be great if someone could talk to him to get a clear idea of the probability of success and how many days are required to see the animal. His English was OK, but I didn’t get a clear answer on that. I have his phone number.

    I’m pretty sure my trip will be from June 1-12 (+/- a couple days). Other mammal possibilities include:
    Bezoar Ibex – Aladag
    European Souslik – Aladag
    Southern White-bellied Hedgehog – Aladag
    Persian Squirrel – widespread, present at Uzuncaburc
    Golden Jackal – widespread, frequently seen at Goksu Delta
    Euphrates Jerboa – Birecik
    Goitered Gazelle – Birecik
    Long-eared Hedgehog – Birecik
    Striped Hyena – Birecik (rare)

    I’ll also try to see all of the special birds of the region.

  • philipprecey

    During a week last November, we had Persian Squirrel (seem easy to see around the ruins) and, late in the afternoon, a group of five Wild Goats at Arykanda.

    Porcupines seem to be very common around Kerkova (a boat trip out from Kas), judging by the abundant latrines and signs of digging. Also from this boat trip, at least 4 Loggerhead Turtles seen.

  • Jon Hall

    Not Turkey I jknow, but I saw a Monk Seal in Croatia on Sunday. At least one animal is on the Istrian peninsula and pretty easy to find at the moment when you are in contact with researchers. Its been around for a few weeks but no one knows how long its going to stick around. I will post a report soon but if anyone is desperate for more info now then let me know

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