Marine Biodiversity Records

Research Article

First records of hooded seals (Cystophora cristata) in the Mediterranean Sea

J.J. Bellidoa1a2 c1, J.J. Castilloa1, M.A. Farfána2, J.J. Martína1, J.L. Monsa1 and R. Reala2

a1 Centro de Recuperación de Especies Marinas Amenazadas, CREMA, Junta de Andalucía, Aula del Mar de Málaga, Avda. M. Heredia, 35 29001, Málaga, Spain

a2 Departamento de Biología Animal, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Málaga, E-29071 Málaga, Spain

Abstract

Between the years 1996 and 2006 the Threatened Marine Species Recovery Centre (CREMA) detected 14 strandings and sightings of hooded seals in the coasts surrounding the Strait of Gibraltar. Five strandings and the only three sightings occurred on the Spanish coasts of the Mediterranean Sea. CREMA or its stranding report network did not deal directly with the stranded or sighted individuals but there were good descriptions and photographs to confirm identification. The frequency of stranding and sighting of hooded seal individuals on the southern coast of Spain indicate that the migratory movements of this species are performed by groups of young animals less than one year old.

(Received March 02 2007)

(Accepted June 21 2007)

(Online publication June 22 2007)

Keywords

  • hooded seals;
  • stranding;
  • Mediterranean;
  • migratory movements;
  • young animals

Correspondence:

c1 Correspondence should be addressed to: J.J. Bellido, Centro de Recuperación de Especies Marinas Amenazadas, CREMA, Junta de Andalucía, Aula del Mar de Málaga, Avda. M. Heredia, 35 29001, Málaga, Spain email: crema@auladelmar.info