Once widespread throughout the Black and Mediterranean Seas and the coasts of north Africa, the Endangered Mediterranean monk seal Monachus monachus has disappeared throughout most of its original range. In Cyprus evidence suggests that the species became effectively extinct at the end of the 20th century. Following an increase of seal sightings around the island, a monitoring programme was established in 2009 to evaluate the status of the species. During 2009–2018, using field surveys, photographs from camera traps and an information network, we recorded an increasing number of seal sightings, and the birth of several pups, indicating the permanent presence of the species on the island. This is the first recorded re-establishment of a Mediterranean monk seal population in an area of its former range following near eradication.