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

  • August 22, 2014
    In June, monk seal field teams began their 3-month deployment at 5 of the 6 main NWHI (French Frigate Shoals, Laysan and Lisianski Islands, Pearl and Hermes Reef, and Kure Atoll; excluding Midway Atoll). More...
  • August 22, 2014
    As a reminder, monk seals are endangered, wild animals and people should act responsibly and not approach them. Fishermen are encouraged to avoid fishing when a seal is observed in the area and to use barbless hooks to minimize injury from accidental hookings of seals and other non-target animals, including turtles. More...
  • August 22, 2014
    Building on the successful outreach program developed last year by Barb Mayer (a US Fish and Wildlife Service volunteer), Barb organized a repeat performance with 4th to 6th grade students at ʻIolani and Punahou Schools' summer programs. More...
  • August 22, 2014
    This year there was a full symposium dedicated to the "Science, Conservation and Conflict: Efforts to Recover the Endangered Hawaiian Monk Seal" on July 16th. There were 6 presentations which covered the current population status, trends and recovery efforts; More...

Recent Staff Publications

  • 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
  • November 25, 2013
    Validation and application of noninvasive glucocorticoid and thyroid hormone measures in free-ranging Hawaiian monk seals
    Gobush KS, Booth RK, Wasser SK
    [2014] General and Comparative Endocrinology 195: 174-182. DOI: 10.1016/j.ygcen.2013.10.020
  • August 21, 2013
    Estimation of Hawaiian monk seal consumption in relation to ecosystem biomass and overlap with fisheries in the main Hawaiian Islands
    Sprague R, Littnan C, Walters J
    [2013] U.S. Dept. of Commerce, NOAA Technical Memorandum NOAA-TM-NMFS-PIFSC-37, 42 p. + Appendices
  • June 20, 2013
    A two-stage translocation strategy for improving juvenile survival of Hawaiian monk seals
    Baker JD, Harting AL, Littnan CL
    [2013] Endangered Species Research 21: 33-44. DOI: 10.3354/esr00506
  • April 27, 2013
    Dietary comparison of two Hawaiian monk seal populations: the role of diet as a driver of divergent population trends
    Cahoon MK, Littnan CL, Longenecker K, Carpenter JR
    [2013] Endangered Species Research 20: 137-146. DOI: 10.3354/esr00491