Ezgi Saydam

  • Project name: Assessment of the Mediterranean monk seal, Monachus monachus, population and habitats in Gokova Special Environmental Protection Area
  • Project site: Gokova Bay, Turkey
  • EDGE species: Mediterranean monk seal Monachus monachus
  • Active: 2016 - ongoing


Ezgi is a marine biologist and conservationist who has worked with the Mediterranean Conservation Society (MCS) for the past two years, aiming to improve the effectiveness of the No Fishing Zones in the Gokova protected areas. Ezgi has also worked with the Seal Rehabilitation and Research Centre of Pieterburen, where she has been hands-on with feeding, catching, weighing and performing health checks on seals.

As an EDGE Fellow, Ezgi enjoyed expanding the scope of her MSc project to promote awareness for the protection of this species, strengthening the no fishing zone and establishing a network of protected sites for the Mediterranean monk seal. Ezgi is now undertaking a PhD on the this species in parallel with her Fellowship project.

EDGE Project

Ezgi’s¬†project is assessing Mediterranean monk seal populations and habitats in Gokova Species Environmental Protection Area (SEPA) through:

  • Identifying the cave habitats the species occupies within the Gokova SEPA, and incorporating this species into the Gokova SEPA conservation management plan;
  • Identifying which coastal caves are visited by the seals and, using camera traps, gather information on how the caves are used;
  • Assessing the population structure around the Gokova SEPA using the camera trap footage;
  • Conducting social studies to determine the distribution of the species and to gain an insight into how they interact with humans.

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