First Sighting of the Harp Seal Pagophilus Groenlandicus (Carnivora: Phocida) on the Algerian Coast (North Africa)

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Mourad Ahmim, Madjid Slimanou, Adel Garrout, Nabil Gehham, Mahmoud Bouherrar

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Published: 11 December 2023 | Article Type : Research Article

Abstract

Algeria is a vast country on the southern shore of the Mediterranean Sea, with an estimated coastline of 2148 kilometers. The Algerian coast is frequented by and is subject to the strandings of 11 species of Cetaceae (Ceartiodactyla), only one carnivorous pinniped, the Mediterranean monk seal Monachus monachus, has not been seen since 2007. On September 29, 2023, a juvenile of Harp Seal Pagophilus groenlandicus was observed and photographed on the red beach between the departments of Bejaia and Jijel. Five days later (October 3,2023) the same specimen reappears 62 kilometers east of the first locality in the department of Jijel. In October 5,2023 the same specimen was later found dead on the beach of Iftissen 10 kilometers east kilometers from the place of its second appearance. This is the first time that this species has been reported on the Algerian coast and it gives food for thought about its presence.

Keywords: Algerian Coast, Red Beach, Mediterranean Monk Seal, Harp Seal.

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Mourad Ahmim, Madjid Slimanou, Adel Garrout, Nabil Gehham, Mahmoud Bouherrar. (2023-12-11). "First Sighting of the Harp Seal Pagophilus Groenlandicus (Carnivora: Phocida) on the Algerian Coast (North Africa)." *Volume 5*, 1, 17-22