The Mediterranean monk seal is critically endangered, and its population continues to rapidly decline. Current population estimates put their numbers at 350-450 individuals worldwide. It is believed that only 20 years ago, there were as many as 700-900.
The monk seal is one of the most endangered mammals in the world. Fisheries are the main reason for their decline. Fishermen sometimes think of them as competition and hunt them intentionally, but they also become by-catch because of trawling and long-line practices. Habitat loss, both for feeding and breeding, has also accelerated their decline.
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