Preliminary study on the effects of photo traps used to monitor Mediterranean monk seals Monachus monachus

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2010-05-20
I evaluate the possible deterrent effect of visual-flash photo traps used to monitor Mediterranean monk seals Monachus monachus in their caves. Two systems of photo trapping were deployed in a cave, one using a flashing visible light and the other using an infrared light source. These systems were used alternately, each for an average duration of 1 wk at a time. A total of 453 digital photographs were taken by the photo traps throughout the experiment, which was conducted from July 2007 to February 2008. Based on an analysis of these photographs, 4 individuals of different age classes were identified. The individuals monitored never displayed an escape response following the flash; although some briefly responded to the flash, they quickly resumed their resting behaviour. Analysis of 47 haul-out events indicated that the average haul-out time of seals repeatedly exposed to a visible flash is longer than that of seals exposed to infrared flash. Although the small sample size limits conclusions, the striking difference found between haul-out times may be a sign of a negative effect which influences resting time of individuals.

Citation Formats
A. C. Gücü, “Preliminary study on the effects of photo traps used to monitor Mediterranean monk seals Monachus monachus,” Endangered Species Research, vol. 10, no. 1, pp. 281–285, 2010, Accessed: 00, 2020. [Online]. Available: https://hdl.handle.net/11511/30995.