The island of Madeira formed part of the original distribution area of the monk seal in the Mediterranean, with the first sightings being made in 1419 by Portuguese sailors in a cove that still bears the name of the species: Câmara de Lobos (Municipal Chamber of Sea Lions).

From the 1980s onwards, the monk seal disappeared from the island of Madeira and were confined to the Desertas Islands. Despite everything, population growth on these islands has extended its distribution area and it is now beginning to recolonise the main island.

The island’s coastline is formed of cliffs with sea and underwater caves, where seals can rest and reproduce.