About the Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program
The overarching goal of the Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program (HMSRP) is to achieve an optimal and sustainable Hawaiian monk seal population. The research and conservation programs within the HMSRP work collectively to achieve this goal through individually focused research activities designed to support the recovery strategies described in the Recovery Plan for the Hawaiian Monk Seal (1.3 MB PDF). These activities are concentrated in six areas of Hawaiian monk seal research and conservation and are allocated within the following programs:
- The Population Assessment Program provides annual high resolution information from each monk seal subpopulation required to assess the species status and examine population trends and threats.
- The Foraging Research Program characterizes the foraging ecology of monk seals throughout the Northwestern and main Hawaiian Islands by evaluating monk seal diet, foraging behavior and habitat use and via examination of ecological links affecting monk seal foraging.
- The Survival Enhancement Program works on improving monk seal survival and developing tools to monitor their physiological condition.
- The Health and Disease Program investigates the role infectious diseases, parasites, and toxins play in the recovery of the monk seal population.
- The Genetics Program use molecular techniques to advance knowledge of Hawaiian monk seal health, population dynamics and diet.
- The Logistics Program provides logistical support for all HMSRP projects in the Northwestern and main Hawaiian Islands.