Hawaiian Monk Seal on beach Hawaiian Monk Seal face Hawaiian Monk Seal adult and pup on beach

Hawaiian Monk Seal Research

The Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program (HMSRP) works to enhance the recovery of the Hawaiian monk seal by studying their biology, ecology and natural history. The HMSRP monitors and assesses the six main monk seal reproductive subpopulations in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI) as well as the increasing subpopulation in the main Hawaiian Islands (MHI). In addition, the HMSRP investigates threats to Hawaiian monk seal survival and works to mitigate factors impeding the species recovery. More...


News and Highlights

  • July 2, 2015 (updated 7/21/2015)
    The NOAA Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center's Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program will be conducting a monk seal vaccination drill July 15-17, 2015. This drill will occur on Oahu and throughout the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. More...
  • July 1, 2015(updated 7/24/2015)
    A panel of experts will meet July 27-31, 2015 to review the PIFSC science that informs stock assessments of marine mammals and marine turtles. The panelists will learn about protected species science information needs, priorities and research activities that are relevant to current programs. The review panel will provide input on ways to improve the quality of marine mammal and marine turtle science programs. More...
  • May 18, 2015
    The NOAA Ship Hiʻialakai will sail from Honolulu on May 18, 2015, for a 22-day mission to the northwestern Hawaiian islands (NWHI) to study the endangered Hawaiian monk seal population. The research will support NOAA's efforts to recover the seal population. More...
  • January 20, 2015
    While many were enjoying the New Year's Eve festivities, a medical team (including 2 veterinarians and a human surgeon) performed a lifesaving surgery to remove a swallowed fishhook from 12-year old adult male seal RE74, also known as Benny. RE74 was born on Kauaʻi in 2002 and is most often observed on Oʻahu and occasionally on Molokaʻi. More...

Recent Staff Publications

  • April 9, 2015
    Marine mammals reported under catch lost to predators on fishermen's commercial catch reports to the State of Hawaii, 2003-2014
    Boggs CH, Gonzales DP, Kokubun RM
    [2015] Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center, PIFSC Data Report, DR-15-006, 14 p
  • February 25, 2015
    Range-wide patterns in Hawaiian monk seal movements among islands and atolls
    Johanos TC, Harting AL, Wurth TL, Baker JD
    [2015] U.S. Dept. of Commerce, NOAA Technical Memorandum NOAA-TM-NMFS-PIFSC-44, 26 p. DOI: 10.7289/V5FT8J02
  • November 20, 2014
    Report on Hawaiian monk seal survey on Ni'ihau Island, 2014
    Lopez J, Wurth T, Littnan C
    [2014] Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center, PIFSC Data Report, DR-14-017, 8 p
  • September 9, 2014
    Benefits derived from opportunistic survival-enhancing interventions for the Hawaiian monk seal: the silver BB paradigm
    Harting AL, Johanos TC, Littnan CL
    [2014] Endangered Species Research 25: 89-96. DOI: 10.3354/esr00612
  • July 22, 2014
    Geographic variation of persistent organic pollutants in Hawaiian monk seals Monachus schauinslandi in the main Hawaiian Islands
    Lopez J, Hyrenbach KD, Littnan C, Ylitalo GM
    [2014] Endangered Species Research 24: 249-262. DOI: 10.3354/esr00602
  • January 16, 2014
    Range-wide movement patterns of Hawaiian monk seals
    Johanos TC, Harting AL, Wurth TA, Baker JD
    [2014] Marine Mammal Science 30(3): 1165-1174. DOI: 10.1111/mms.12084