Hawaiian Monk Seals
Photo: Two Juvenile monk seals draw a crowd of beach-goers at Poipu Beach on Kauai. Shawn Farry
Hawaiian monk seals are among the most critically endangered mammals in the world. Only about 1,200 seals are alive today. Most seals live in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, but there is a small and potentially growing population of seals in the Main Hawaiian Islands (MHI). A 2005 survey observed 76 seals in the MHI.
Monks eals frequently haul-out on our shorelines to rest and molt. Female seals also haul-out on shore for up to seven weeks to give birth and nurse their pups. Hauled-out seals may look sick, but they are usually perfectly healthy. Please keep your distance and just let them rest. Hawaii's leash laws apply to all beaches, so keep all pets on leash and pick up after them. Dogs have attacked seals, and they carry diseases that are potentially lethal to seals. For more information on Hawaiian monk seals, visit the NOAA Hawaiian monk seal site. Also check out these other NOAA websites:
Hawaiian Monk Seal
Hawaiian Monk Seal Research