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 24, 2015
    NOAA Fisheries has launched a new informational hub for the Hawaiian monk seal as part of the "Species in the Spotlight: Survive to Thrive" initiative, an agency-wide effort to highlight the eight NOAA-protected species most at risk of extinction. Visit the Species in the Spotlight: Hawaiian Monk Seal page and check back frequently for the latest news on the Hawaiian monk seal. More...
  • July 31, 2015
    Last September at the end of our field effort in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI), the Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program team collected 2 malnourished weaned pups (1 each from Kure Atoll and Laysan Island) for rehabilitation. More...
  • July 31, 2015
    During the 2015 Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program field camp deployments to the NWHI in May and June via the NOAA ship Hiʻialakai, two undersized, newly weaned pups were discovered at Pearl and Hermes Reef. More...
  • July 31, 2015
    In efforts to remove hazards to wildlife and prevent debris from becoming washed back into the ocean, the Hawaiian Monk Seal Research program (HMSRP) partnered with Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii, a non-profit organization, to clean marine debris from beaches in the Northwestern Hawaiians Islands. More...
  • July 31, 2015
    In June, the NOAA Fisheries Pacific Islands Region held a 4-day Science Camp at NOAA's Inouye Regional Center in Pearl Harbor, for the second year in a row. A total of 45 eighth grade students participated in learning and applying various research techniques used to study the marine environment and the organisms that live there. More...
  • July 31, 2015
    On April 6-17, the Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program hosted an international workshop at the NOAA Inouye Regional Center to collaborate on all aspects of the biology and conservation for both Hawaiian and Mediterranean monk seals. More...
  • 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...

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