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This months spotlight shines on R5AY, our monk seal of the month!
There are around 1,400 endangered Hawaiian monk seals remaining today.
Hawaiian monk seals are protected under the Endangered Species Act and Marine Mammal Protection Act, and Hawaii state law.
The Hawaiian monk seal is Hawaii's official state mammal.
Hawaiian monk seals are part of a healthy Hawaiian ecosystem.
Hawaiian monk seals are endemic to the Hawaiian Islands archipelago, meaning they are native and exist nowhere else on Earth.
NOAA Fisheries has launched our "Species in the Spotlight: Survive to Thrive" initiative — a concerted, agency-wide, partnership-driven effort to highlight and save eight species identified as highly at-risk for extinction, including the Hawaiian monk seal. To support this initiative, we've developed 5-year Priority Action Plans for these species that focus our recovery actions on immediate, targeted efforts to reverse declining population trends.
Check out the Species in the Spotlight news and resources for the Hawaiian monk seal below, and
click here to download the action plan for this species.
HERE ARE THE LATEST UPDATES
Take Part in the Hawaiian Monk Seal Photo Contest!
NOAA Fisheries is pleased to announce its first-ever photo contest to showcase Hawaiian monk seals in a photographic calendar. Enter now for your chance to be featured in the 2018 calendar! Submissions will be accepted from June 13 through September 15, 2017.
KE KAI OLA (MONK SEAL HOSPITAL) NEWS
OUR CHOICES HELP MONK SEALS STAY WILD
- Maintain a distance of 150 feet and/or stay behind any protective ropes or signs. It is natural for monk seals to rest on the beach.
- Never feed seals. It is unsafe and illegal.
- Do not encourage or get close to monk seals on the beach or in the water. Monk seals are wild animals and will bite.
- If a seal approaches you, ignore it, move away, and exit the water if necessary. Playful seals become problem seals when encouraged.
- Keep dogs leashed at all times near monk seals. This prevents injury and disease transmission for both animals.
- Fish with barbless hooks. Barbless hooks reduce seal injuries.
Read more on how to be a Good Neighbor to Hawaiian monk seals...
24-hour (toll-free) Marine Mammal Stranding and Entanglement Hotline: 1-888-256-9840
Help us by reporting all seal sightings and interactions. Your reports help NOAA Fisheries respond to hooked, or injured seals, track potential harmful seal behavior, and monitor the seal population. Learn about the Pacific Islands Marine Mammal Response Network.
- Food Limitation
Limited prey availability is the primary factor attributed to emaciation and poor survival of juvenile monk seals.
- Human Interactions
Human actions and activities are diverse and can adversely impact the survival of monk seals.
- Infectious Diseases, Parasites
With a total population of only 1,100 individuals, any disease outbreak or immune system suppression at any of the seals' breeding and pupping locations can have devastating population-level impacts.
- Enhance survival of female seals, especially juvenile pups born in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.
- Ensure natural population growth and reduce human-seal interactions in the main Hawaiian Islands.
- Prevent and mitigate disease and build seal health care capacity.
- Administer a recovery program for maximum effectiveness integration and partnerships.
R5AY: Honey Girl's Story of Struggle and Salvation in Paradise
A long-time resident of O‘ahu whose life was saved after she was seriously injured and nearly starved due to a fishery interaction. Read R5AY's story.
- RK30 births seventh pup
- APNewsBreak: Endangered seals start journey home after rehab
- Hawaiian monk seal Spotlight Species 5-year Action Plan
- Kauai a Step Ahead on Monk Seal Management
- Clap Your Flippers for Hawaii Hospital That Rescued Two Endangered Seal Pups
- Hawaiian Monk Seal Receiving Care in Kona
- Coast Guard, NOAA Transports Two Rehabilitated Hawaiian Monk Seals to Oahu
- Five Near-blind Monk Seals Became Ambassadors For Vanishing Species
- Main Hawaiian Islands Monk Seal Management Plan
- The Sneeze That Could Wipe Out Hawaii's Seals
- Hawaii's State Mammal on Hawaii Statehood Day
- Location: Northwestern Hawaiian Islands and the main Hawaiian Islands
- Listing Status: Endangered
- Life Expectancy: 4 to 5 years (pup), 25 to 30 years (adult)
- Size: 6 to 7 feet in length
- Weight: 400 to 600 lbs (181-272 kg)
- Habitat: Ocean, atolls, islands and beach areas
- Diet: Small fishes, squid, octopus, eels and crustaceans (crabs, shrimp, and lobster)
- Taxonomy: Neomonachus schauinsland
- Hawaiian name(s): 'Ilio holo i ka uaua ("dog running in the rough seas"), or na mea hulu ("the furry one").
- REPORT MONK SEAL SIGHTINGS by email or call 1-808-220-7802 (Oahu). Other Neighbor Islands.
- REPORT STRANDED, ENTANGLED, OR INJURED MARINE MAMMALS – 24-hour Marine Mammal Hotline at 1-888-256-9840
- REPORT VIOLATIONS OF THE Marine Mammal Protection Act OR Endangered Species Act, by calling NOAA Fisheries Office of Law Enforcement at
- For more information, email us.