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Torba - once home to the Mediterranean monk seal

Torba - once home to the Mediterranean monk seal

On the north-eastern coastline along the Bodrum peninsula lies the small town of Torba, well hidden in a charming little bay that offers protection and is only 6 kilometers from the city center of Bodrum.

The village lies in a valley of olive groves and - if not destroyed by fire - pine forests. In the further course of the coastline you will come across small, friendly guesthouses, romantic bars and stretches of coast that are well shielded from the traffic routes and invite you to sunbathe and swim. About 20 years ago there was only one small fish restaurant that was run by fishermen themselves.

b_450_450_16777215_00_images_turkey_aegean_region_torba-1.jpgThe pine forests here extend right to the beach and the air is filled with the smell of the sea. Nothing in Torba reminds of the bustle of the nearby city of Bodrum.
Torba is a very quiet and cozy place to relax and unwind. Since the bay was better protected by structural measures, even the windiest weather is no longer a problem, the sea is gentle, smooth and clean. There are daily ferry connections to Didim (the historic Didyma) across the Gulf of Güllük. Many historical treasures such as the remains of abandoned villages and a Byzantine monastery that dates back to the 4th or 5th century await the visitor here.
However, the area around Torba is gradually being sprawled by large hotels and resorts.

Extremely rare - the Mediterranean monk seal

b_450_450_16777215_00_images_turkey_aegean_region_torba-mittelmeer-moenchsrobbe.jpgIn addition to the local fish, you can also find sea turtles and the extremely rare Mediterranean monk seal. The Mediterranean monk seal (Monachus monachus) is an endangered species of seal from the dog seal family. With an estimated 350 to 450 sexually mature individuals, it is one of the rarest mammals in Europe. With a length of 240 cm and a weight of 280 kg, the Mediterranean monk seal is significantly larger than a common seal. Females are slightly smaller than males. Young animals are born with about 80 cm and a black birth fur, which often has a white spot.

b_450_450_16777215_00_images_leben_fauna_moenchsrobbe.jpgThe only species of seal in the Mediterranean has become extremely rare as a result of persecution. The largest populations are located on the Greek and Turkish coasts (Foça, Anamur and Alonnisos). Two thirds of the population is said to be located in the Greek Alonnisos Marine Park alone. Smaller residual populations live on the African coast between Morocco and the Western Sahara (there on the southern tip of the Ras Nouadhibou peninsula) and near the Ilhas Desertas in the Madeira archipelago in the Atlantic, but also in the Strait of Sicily near La Galite (Tunisia). The colony near Madeira includes around 30 animals and the population has been increasing in recent years. Furthermore, there are small populations on the coast of Istria, for example near the city of Pula.

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