The Hawaiian Monk Seal

By: Charina Sumner

 

Introduction

The monk seal is an extremely endangered species. The Hawaiian Monk Seals Hawaiian name is Ilio holo kai. It means the dog who runs the sea. The monk seal is a land and water mammal. This precious animal is not only endangered it is also a native animal.

Description

The Hawaiian Monk Seal is as precious as the whole world. The Hawaiian Monk Seal has a round head, slivery fur, black buttonhook eyes, a snout in which nostrils open up like quotation marks, a spray of cats whiskers and holes which are its ears. The Hawaiian Monk Seal is pure black at birth and then turns gray. Later it becomes tan and brown and then to green and red. It turns green because of the algae from being in the water for such a long period of time. The different colors that the monk seal turns depends on how long it stays in the sun and in the water. It's normal color is a tan color. Adults are dark gray to brown and light gray to yellow underneath on his belly. When the pups are born they weigh about 35 pounds and at the end of their nursing period they weigh about 150 pounds. Female Monk Seals are usually bigger than the males.

Click here to see a video of a Hawaiian Monk Seal

Diet

The Hawaiian Monk Seal has many types of food for its diet. Some of them are different types of fish, lobsters, octopus, reef fish, eels, and other marine animals.

Habitat

The Hawaiian Monk Seal lives on tiny islands and atolls northwest of Kauai. Some of the tiny islands and atolls are Nihoa island, Necker island, Pearl Reefs, Hermes Reef, Kure atoll, French Frigate Shoals, Laysan atoll, Lisianski island, Midway island, National Marine Fisheries Department and the most wonderful place in O'ahu Sea Life Park Hawaii.

Why is the Hawaiian Monk Seal Endangered?

The Hawaiian Monk Seal is endangered because of people and the Tiger shark. What we are doing to endanger the monk seal is HUMAN DISTURBANCE. Some of the human disturbances are pollution, taking all their food and getting trapped in fishing nets. Another reason is Tiger the sharks. After a Tiger shark attacks, the monk seal becomes a shark's victim.

Mobbing

One big reason why the Hawaiian Monk Seal is endangered is because of "MOBBING". Mobbing starts when the female population started dropping and the males doubling. The males fight, even kill each other for the females. This mobbing is rather new to the Monk Seal. We still do not know why this sudden physical violence has come over the males. The shortage of females affect the pups that are being born. If the pups are born many die quickly after at a young age from an unknown disease.

What is Being Done to Save the Hawaiian Monk Seal?

There are a few things that we are doing to help the Hawaiian Monk Seal. One thing they are doing is forming a sanctuary on coconut island for the Hawaiian Monk Seal. Another thing is that they are taking them from islands and atolls and caring for them at Sea Life Park. Also when people see monk seals on the beach they call the National Marine Fisheries, so they can set up barriers to protect the Hawaiian Monk Seal. The last thing they are doing is injecting drugs into the male monk seal to prevent them hurting the female monk seal.