Abstract: The components and specifications of a surveillance system developed in a pilot study to monitor Mediterranean monk seals (Monachus monachus) are presented. The system consisted of two B/W CCD cameras, infrared illuminators, a CCTV video web server, and photovoltaic solar panels, and it was operated under harsh outdoor conditions for three and a half months. It enabled the recording of rarely observed aspects of the Mediterranean monk seals' social and reproductive behaviour, as well as provided a method to document demographic parameters of the local seal population. Advantages of the system include its non-invasive nature and its autonomous operation, while the primary disadvantage is the high initial cost, which should decrease as technology continues to improve. This system could prove to be a valuable tool in the conservation of critically endangered seal species such as the Mediterranean monk seal.

Key Words: MEDITERRANEAN MONK SEAL; MONACHUS MONACHUS; BEHAVIOUR; CONSERVATION; VIDEOGRAPHY; NATIONAL MARINE PARK OF ALONNISOS; NORTHERN SPORADES; GREECE

Document Type: Research article

DOI: 10.1578/AM.33.2.2007.179

Page Numbers: 179 - 184

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