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61 The Aegean Sea · Greece

We have selected 100 unique places on Earth that are projected to undergo profound changes within the next few generations. We based our selection of the 100 places on the 4th Assessment Report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Simply by drawing attention to the beauty of these places, 100 Places to Remember Before they Disappear creates an argument to preserve them. The 100 Places we have chosen to highlight, and the people who live in them, are in serious danger because of rising sea levels, rising temperatures and extreme weather events triggered by climate change. Among ambassadors are Joss Stone, Desmond Tutu for more info visit http://www.100places.com The Aegean Sea · Greece A Shelter for One of the Worlds Rarest Animals The word archipelago was originally coined to describe the many rugged islands dotted throughout the Aegean Sea between Greece and Turkey, many of them the tips of the mountain chains that extend from the mainland far out into its deep blue waters. Beneath the surface of the Aegean lives one of the rarest animals on Earth, the Mediterranean Monk Seal. With a population of around 400, it teeters on the verge of extinction. Its close relative the Caribbean Monk Seal has already been wiped out and the Hawaiian Monk Seal is also under threat. Until a century ago, the Mediterranean Monk Seal gave birth, rested and congregated on open beaches. They have now abandoned the beaches in favour of sea caves along the most remote, rugged coasts, which are almost inaccessible to humans. This change of habitat is thought to have been the result of population growth and the expansion of tourism and industry in the 20th century, which clashed with the shy nature of the Monk Seal. One of the few places they are still able to flourish in relative peace is the Greek Alonissos Marina Park in the northern part of the Aegean Sea, where a vast area has been allocated to the preservation of the seal and its habitat. It may not be enough to save the remaining Monk Seals, however. Any rise in sea level caused by global warming is likely to submerge their caves and rob them of their final refuge from mankind.
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