Hawaiian Monk Seal Facts

  1. Myth:

    Seals only forage at night.

    Fact:

    Seals feed both during the day and at night, although this varies depending on age/sex class.

    Monk seals as a whole do not appear to prefer feeding at specific times of the day. This misperception is derived from dietary and behavioral observations. Monk seal diet studies found that seals eat a mixture of diurnal and nocturnal species. Though seals are consuming nocturnal species, they are not necessarily consuming them only at night. Nocturnal prey, such as eels and cephalopods, like to hide in crevices and rocks during the day, and footage from seal-born video cameras (crittercams) show seals probing and overturning rocks to flush and capture prey. Observations of seals on the beaches showed that the highest number ashore were mid-day with fewer animals in the morning and early evening, leading to the assumption that seals were primarily nocturnal foragers. However, new technology such as dive recorders and satellite tags are showing no significant difference between day and night feedings.

    Further Reading:

    Goodman-Lowe GD
    1998. Diet of the Hawaiian monk seal (Monachus schauinslandi) from the Northwestern Hawaiian islands during 1991 to 1994. Marine Biology 132(3): 535-546. DOI: 10.1007/s002270050419
    Kenyon KW, and Rice DW
    1959. Life history of the Hawaiian monk seal. Pacific Science 13:215–252.
    Parrish FA, Craig MP, Ragen TJ, Marshall GJ, Buhleier BM
    2000. Identifying diurnal foraging habitat of endangered Hawaiian monk seals using a seal-mounted video camera. Marine Mammal Science 16(2):392-412. DOI: 10.1111/j.1748-7692.2000.tb00932.x
    Parrish FA, Marshall GJ, Buhleier B, Antonelis GA
    2008. Foraging interaction between monk seals and large predatory fish in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Endangered Species Research 4(3): 299-308. DOI: 10.3354/esr00090
    Parrish FA, Marshall GJ, Littnan CL, Heithaus M, Canja S, Becker B, Braun R, Antonelis GA
    2005. Foraging of juvenile monk seals at French Frigate Shoals, Hawaii. Marine Mammal Science 21(1): 93-107. DOI: 10.1111/j.1748-7692.2005.tb01210.x
  2. Myth:

    Monk seals consume large amounts of lobster.

    Fact:

    Lobster is not a critical prey item of the monk seal diet.

    Observations of lobster in the diet of monk seals are rare. In fact, in only a few occasions has lobster been documented in the diet. One lobster was found in the stomach of a dead monk seal and one seal was observed consuming two lobsters. Two dietary studies, one in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands and one in the main Hawaiian Islands, did not identify lobster in fecal samples, though biases may influence the likelihood of seeing lobster remains in samples. However, more advanced dietary techniques using fatty acid analysis do not indicate lobster as an important prey item for the population, though a few individuals did prefer it.

    Further Reading:

    Cahoon MK, Littnan CL, Longenecker K, Carpenter JR
    2013. Dietary comparison of two Hawaiian monk seal populations: the role of diet as a driver of divergent population trends. Endang Species Res 20: 137–146. DOI: 10.3354/esr00491
    DeLong RL, Kooyman GL, Gilmartin WG, Loughlin RR
    1984. Hawaiian monk seal diving behavior. Acta Zoologica Fennica 172: 129-131.
    Goodman-Lowe GD
    1998. Diet of the Hawaiian monk seal (Monachus schauinslandi) from the Northwestern Hawaiian islands during 1991 to 1994. Marine Biology 132(3): 535-546. DOI: 10.1007/s002270050419
    Iverson S, Piche J, Blanchard W
    2011. Hawaiian monk seals and their prey: assessing characteristics of prey species fatty acid signatures and consequences for estimating monk seal diets using fatty acid signature analysis. U.S. Dept. of Commerce, NOAA Technical Memorandum NOAA-TM-NMFS-PIFSC-23, 114 p. + appendices
    Iverson SJ, Stewart BS, Yochem PK
    2010. Report on validation and calibration of fatty acid signatures in blubber as indicators of prey in Hawaiian monk seal diet (A report submitted under Contract No. AB133F-030SE-1195, September 2003). Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center Administrative Report H-10-05, 19 p.
    MacDonald C
    1982. Predation by Hawaiian monk seals on spiny lobsters. Journal of Mammalogy 63: 700. DOI: 10.2307/1380290
  3. Myth:

    Seals eat too much of the fish targeted by fishermen. This poses a problem if the main Hawaiian Islands (MHI) seal population grows or if seals are translocated from the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI) to the MHI.

    Fact:

    Considering what science tells us about monk seal foraging, the overall impact of seals on fishing in Hawaiʻi (recreational, subsistence, and commercial) is small.

    Myth 1 image
    Photo courtesy of Lesley Macpherson.

    The potential impact of seals on fishing in Hawai‘i is influenced by several factors:

    • There are a small number of seals in the MHI (~200 seals)
    • Seals consume a wide variety of marine organisms (not just fish), and many are species not targeted by fishers
    • Seals forage over wide areas, including habitats and depths not targeted by fishers

    Even as the MHI seal population grows via natural population growth or temporary translocation of NWHI seals, impacts on fisheries are expected to be very small as the overall MHI population will still be relatively small.

    However, there could be impacts to individual fishermen when seals interact with their gear or catch. Guidelines have been developed to minimize these impacts. Additionally, NOAA Fisheries is working with fishers to characterize the number and types of seal-fisheries interactions to come up with solutions for seals and fishermen.

    Further Reading:

    Cahoon MK, Littnan CL, Longenecker K, Carpenter JR
    2013. Dietary comparison of two Hawaiian monk seal populations: the role of diet as a driver of divergent population trends. Endang Species Res 20: 137–146. DOI: 10.3354/esr00491
    Iverson S, Piche J, Blanchard W
    2011. Hawaiian monk seals and their prey: assessing characteristics of prey species fatty acid signatures and consequences for estimating monk seal diets using fatty acid signature analysis. U.S. Dept. of Commerce, NOAA Technical Memorandum NOAA-TM-NMFS-PIFSC-23, 114 p. + appendices
    Lopez J, Hyrenbach KD, Littnan C, Ylitalo GM
    2014. Geographic variation of persistent organic pollutants in Hawaiian monk seals Monachus schauinslandi in the main Hawaiian Islands Endangered Species Research 24: 249-262. DOI: 10.3354/esr00602
    Sprague R, Littnan C, Walters J
    2013. Estimation of Hawaiian monk seal consumption in relation to ecosystem biomass and overlap with fisheries in the main Hawaiian Islands. U.S. Dept. of Commerce, NOAA Technical Memorandum NOAA-TM-NMFS-PIFSC-37, 42 p. + Appendices
  4. Myth:

    Monk seals eat 400 lbs of fish per seal per day. Or, monk seals eat their weight in fish every day.

    Fact:

    This is impossible. No large carnivore (meat eating animal) consumes the equivalent of its body weight in a day.

    Very small animals, like shrews, hummingbirds, and some insects, etc., must consume large amounts of food relative to their size, but not marine mammals, including monk seals. Given the size of the monk seals stomach (only slightly larger than our own) it is actually IMPOSSIBLE for monk seals to consume and digest that quantity of food.

    Monk seals eat about 4-8% of their body weight, depending on the age class of the seal. With an increasing population of seals in the main Hawaiian Islands (MHI) there is concern that seals may be negatively impacting the local ecosystem. A recent study estimated that a MHI seal consumes about 6.8 kilograms (15 pounds) of fish per day, which is only 0.009% of estimated available prey biomass. With 7,622 square kilometers (2,943 square miles) of foraging habitat in the MHI and an estimated monk seal population size of 200, this translates to a total consumption rate of about 0.45 kilograms (1 pound) of fish per square mile.

    Further Reading:

    Sprague R, Littnan C, Walters J
    2013. Estimation of Hawaiian monk seal consumption in relation to ecosystem biomass and overlap with fisheries in the main Hawaiian Islands. U.S. Dept. of Commerce, NOAA Technical Memorandum NOAA-TM-NMFS-PIFSC-37, 42 p. + Appendices
    Williams TM, Richter B, Kendall T, and Dunkin R
    2011. Metabolic Demands of a Tropical Marine Carnivore, the Hawaiian Monk Seal (Monachus schauinslandi): Implications for Fisheries Competition. Aquatic Mammals 37(3), 372-376. DOI: 10.1578/AM.37.3.2011.372
  5. Myth:

    Seals damage coral reefs as they hunt for food and thus damage fish habitat. This will get worse as the main Hawaiian Islands (MHI) population grows and/or if seals are translocated to the MHI from the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI).

    Fact:

    Seals rarely damage live coral while they forage - they do sometimes lift or turn over rocks and root around in rubble and sand, but this material is not live coral, and this activity does not damage the ecosystem nor reduce the productivity of the fishery.

    The reefs in Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument are numerous and healthy. They are also home to more than 900 monk seals. There is no evidence, including many of hours of footage from seal-mounted video cameras, indicating that monk seals damage coral reefs.

  6. Myth:

    Seals will attract sharks, which will put people at risk of shark attacks.

    Fact:

    All information to date indicates that more monk seals in the main Hawaiian Islands (MHI) has not, and will not, lead to more shark attacks on humans.

    While the monk seal population has increased in the MHI over the past 10 years, incidents of shark attacks on people have shown no corresponding increase. According to the International Shark Attack File, there have been a total of only 136 documented shark attacks on people in Hawaiʻi from 1828-2014, and 9 of these were fatal. From 2001-2014, the yearly number of attacks on humans in Hawaiʻi showed no clear upward trend of shark attacks.

    Tiger sharks are responsible for most shark attacks on humans in Hawaiʻi, and tiger sharks also attack monk seals. However, only a small fraction of seals in the MHI have scars or new injuries from shark bites. Some studies have documented more white shark attacks on people (especially surfers) near seal colonies (for example, in California and South Africa). These colonies typically involve predictable and seasonal aggregations of tens of thousands of seals, and white sharks focus on these areas when seals are present. In contrast, there are presently around 200 seals in the MHI. These seals are scattered throughout the islands and do not aggregate in dense colonies. These small numbers mean that monk seals cannot be a significant source of food for sharks, because there are not nearly enough seals to sustain the sharks. A similar concern is often heard about the abundance of green turtles and shark attacks in Hawaiʻi. However, despite the fact that green turtle abundance has been growing in Hawaiʻi for decades, there has been no apparent increase in shark attacks on humans during this time.

  7. Myth:

    Seals are a human safety risk because they will attack people.

    Fact:

    Most monk seals are not aggressive toward people, unless they feel threatened (such as when a person gets between a mother seal and her pup).

    Some seals that have been fed (intentionally or unintentionally) or have been interacting with ("played with") people may become dangerous when they grow up to be large, mature seals that persistently seek out human interaction.

    Normal "wild" monk seals almost never attack or seek interactions with humans. There have been only a few known cases of aggressive interactions between seals and people. These have occurred either when a person has gotten too close to a protective mother’s pup or when a seal has become conditioned to associate humans with food or socialization and later became too “rough” with unsuspecting swimmers or divers. With effective outreach and education, both of these situations can, and should be, avoided. As a rule, it is not a good idea to undertake activities that may be interpreted as a threat to a mother or her young of most wild species, and some domesticated species as well. Following basic Hawaiian Monk Seal Viewing Guidelines and guidelines for fishers will prevent or greatly reduce public safety risks associated with conditioned or habituated seals.

    Additional Information:

  8. Myth:

    Monk seals are not from Hawaii and they are being brought in by government agencies.

    Fact:

    Monk seals are native to the Hawaiian Islands and the main Hawaiian Island (MHI) subpopulation is growing naturally.

    All evidence indicates that Hawaiian monk seals are endemic to the Hawaiian Islands, meaning they are only found in Hawaiʻi and nowhere else in the world.

    There are documented reports of monk seals sighted in the MHI going back to the 1800s, and archeological remains of monk seals dating to 1400-1700 AD were found on the Island of Hawaiʻi. The Hawaiian monk seal likely reached the Pacific Ocean through the Central American Seaway (now blocked by the Isthmus of Panama), and that closed approximately 3 million years ago. There is no fossil or reported evidence of Hawaiian monk seals anywhere else other than the Hawaiian Archipelago.

    Although not as prominent in Native Hawaiian culture as other sea creatures, like sea turtles, recent research reveals that some Hawaiian families have traditional ties to monk seals and there are some historical Hawaiian cultural references to monk seals. Many folks have not seen or heard much about monk seals in the MHI in the past few generations because they have only recently become more numerous again in the MHI.

    The MHI seal population is naturally increasing because of high reproductive success of the seals already here, not because seals are moving here from the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI). NOAA Fisheries moved 21 adult male seals to the MHI in 1994 to alleviate high levels of male seal aggression resulting in mortality of adult female and immature seals due to a male biased sex ratio at Laysan Island (NWHI). However, those males cannot account for the natural, unassisted population growth that is now underway.

    Video:

    Honua Consulting [honuaconsulting]
    2010, December 1. A Priviledge to See - Hawaiian Monk Seals from an Island Perspective [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJsuqUAU_to

    Further reading:

    Baker JD, Johanos TC
    2004. Abundance of the Hawaiian monk seal in the main Hawaiian Islands. Biological Conservation 116: 103-110. DOI: 10.1016/S0006-3207(03)00181-2
    Kittinger JN, Bambico TM, Watson TK, Glazier EW
    2011. Historical and Contemporary Significance of the Endangered Hawaiian Monk Seal in Native Hawaiian Culture. A report prepared for the NOAA Pacific Islands Regional Office. Impact Assessment, Inc., Honolulu
    Nordtvedt Reeve LL, Reeve RB, Cleghorn PL
    2013. The Hawaiian Monk Seal in Traditional Hawaiian Culture. A report prepared for the NOAA Pacific Islands Regional Office. Pacific Legacy, Inc., Honolulu
    Scheel D-M, Slater G, Kolokotronis S-O, Potter C, Rotstein D, Tsangaras K, Greenwood A, Helgen KM
    2014. Biogeography and taxonomy of extinct and endangered monk seals illuminated by ancient DNA and skull morphology. ZooKeys 409 (2014): 1-33. DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.409.6244
  9. Myth:

    NOAA Fisheries seems to be responsible for seal population decline in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI); NOAA Fisheries research and enhancement activities have/will hurt seal recovery.

    Fact:

    The NWHI monk seal population decline is a result of limited food availability and not a function of NOAA's research activities. Monk seal recovery is a high priority for NOAA Fisheries and sometimes research and enhancement activities do involve some risk. However, risk is only taken if analysis has shown that those risks are outweighed by benefits to the species. In fact, about 1/3 of the monk seal population is alive because of NOAA Fisheries survival enhancement activities, such as dehookings, disentanglements from marine debris, removing seals from high predation zones, medical treatment, rehabilitation and related activities.

    Overall the poor body condition of immature seals in the NWHI suggests limited foraging success and food availability, which has been attributed to lowered ecosystem productivity and competition between seals and other top predators (sharks and jacks (trevally or ulua)). Starvation of juvenile seals and high rates of Galapagos shark predation on pups of the year at French Frigate Shoal are the primary factors for the NWHI monk seal population decline.

    All NOAA Fisheries activities that involve "take" of monk seals must be permitted under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), which prohibits authorization of any activity that might cause a population decline. NOAA Fisheries has conducted controlled studies to prove that its activities are safe for monk seals and do not cause adverse impacts on the monk seal population.

    To better understand the behavior and biology of monk seals, various studies are conducted where handling and instrumentation of seals occurs. To ensure the welfare of seals during these handling events, NOAA Fisheries has conducted studies to assess the effects of handling events. Two noteworthy studies indicate that seals are not negatively affected by handling activities such as tagging and attachment of telemetry or camera devices.

    During field activities, NOAA scientists follow numerous protocols to minimize risk and disturbance to seals such as keeping a low profile when observing seals by hiding behind vegetation or marine debris. If there is a chance seals will be unnecessarily disturbed, activities are modified or postponed. Any disturbances that do occur are documented.

    Further reading:

    Baker JD, Harting AL, Wurth TA, Johanos TC
    2011. Dramatic shifts in Hawaiian monk seal distribution predicted from divergent regional trends. Marine Mammal Science 27(1): 78-93. DOI: 10.1111/j.1748-7692.2010.00395.x
    Baker JD, Johanos TC
    2002. Effects of research handling on the endangered Hawaiian monk seal. Marine Mammal Science 18(2): 500-512.
    Harting AL, Johanos TC, Littnan CL
    2014. Benefits derived from opportunistic survival-enhancing interventions for the Hawaiian monk seal: the silver BB paradigm. Endangered Species Research 25: 89-96. DOI: 10.3354/esr00612
    Littnan CL, Baker JD, Parrish FA, Marshall GJ
    2004. Effects of video camera attachment on the foraging behavior of immature Hawaiian monk seals. Marine Mammal Science 20(2): 345-352. DOI: 10.1111/j.1748-7692.2004.tb01164.x
  10. Myth:

    NOAA Fisheries doesn't seem to have the resources or capacity to effectively track and manage seals in the main Hawaiian Islands (MHI).

    Fact:

    Our growing volunteer network, combined with the latest tracking technology, including satellite and VHF radio tags, gives NOAA Fisheries the ability to track and re-sight seals in the MHI.

    Many seals in the MHI are visually identifiable either using plastic tags applied to their rear flippers, temporary "bleach" marks applied to their fur, and through distinctive natural scars and other markings. Further, various electronic telemetry tags can be used to monitor movements and dive behavior of individual seals of interest at near real-time. These tags allow monitoring for up to a year, depending on battery life, or until the device falls off when the seal undergoes its annual molt. NOAA Fisheries continues to develop our tracking technologies and management strategies and to work with coastal community members to maintain and improve our seal monitoring capabilities.

    Through our efforts and with key assistance from a growing volunteer sightings network, we are able to monitor most of the population of seals on Kauaʻi, Oʻahu, Maui, and Molokaʻi (West Molokaʻi and Kalaupapa). Currently there are few seals that utilize the shores of Lanaʻi and Hawaiʻi Island (based on aerial surveys, site visits, and general sighting reports). We realize that there are gaps in information from areas that are more remote or have limited accessibility such as Kaula, Niʻihau, Lehua, and Kahoʻolawe, and we are working on ways to gain better information about seals in these areas. NOAA Fisheries has increased its annual seal bleach marking effort to aid in accurate identification of seals and increase public reporting of MHI sightings. As the Hawaiian monk seal population grows or if seals are temporarily brought down the MHI chain, efforts to increase awareness and reporting of seals on these islands will be undertaken.

    If moved, any translocated seals will be closely monitored by attaching a satellite or cell phone and VHF radio tag for near-real time information of the animal's location in addition to observations conducted by the existing robust volunteer sighting network. However, translocation would not be implemented without sufficient funding and extensive community outreach efforts.

    Further reading:

    Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement Appendix F: Two-State Translocation Plan Final PEIS for Hawaiian Monk Seal Recovery Actions March 2014.
    Baker JD, Becker BL, Wurth TA, Johanos TC, Littnan CL, Henderson JR
    2011. Translocation as a tool for conservation of the Hawaiian monk seal. Biological Conservation, 144(11), 2692-2701. DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2011.07.030
    Baker JD, Harting AL, Littnan CL
    2013. A two-stage translocation strategy for improving juvenile survival of Hawaiian monk seals. Endangered Species Research 21: 33-44. DOI: 10.3354/esr00506
  11. Myth:

    The seal population in the main Hawaiian Islands (MHI) will explode like other invasive species (e.g., taʻape).

    Fact:

    Many introduced species have indeed become problematic invasive species in Hawaiʻi. However, monk seals are not alien species and the biology of slow-growing native monk seals (a marine mammal) is very different than the biology of Hawaiʻi's alien species (fish, plants, and land mammals).

    Monk seals are not an alien species in Hawaiʻi (see Myth 8 above), so they do not have the ecological advantage that some alien species, such as taʻape or mongoose, have when they are introduced into new ecosystems. Female seals, on average, have less than one pup per year, compared to the thousands of offspring produced by alien fish species like taʻape, and the 6 or more offspring per year produced by a small land mammal, like a mongoose. Even among all types of pinnipeds (seals and sea lions), all of which are relatively slow reproducing species, the monk seal population appears to be among the slowest growing, even when conditions are favorable for population growth. This may be partly because Hawaiʻi's subtropical marine ecosystem is much less productive than the temperate and arctic ecosystems where the other pinnipeds live. Contrary to what it may seem, coral reef ecosystems have very low levels of nutrients in the water - that's why the water is so clear. Temperate and arctic ecosystems, on the other hand, have relatively high nutrient levels and thus can support higher biological production and higher populations of pinnipeds.

    In 2012, there were at least 138 seals in the MHI, but because we don't have complete counts at all islands, the true number is probably closer to 200 seals. Based on other information (survival and birth rates), we believe the population could be growing at approximately 6.5% per year. NOAA Fisheries uses a sophisticated computer-based modeling program to estimate future populations. If the current MHI population is 200 seals and it continued to grow at 6% per year, the number of seals in the MHI would be closer to 700 seals in 20 years. However, large mammal populations, such as the monk seal, rarely continue to expand at the same rate as when the population is small. That is because when populations are small, there are abundant resources for each individual. As the population grows, sooner or later the availability of one or more resources is reduced and the growth rate declines. For monk seals in the MHI, the limiting factor might be the amount of preferred prey species, the availability of suitable haul out or pupping habitat, or perhaps some other factor. As we learn more about monk seal ecology in the MHI, we will have a better understanding of which factor may eventually limit their abundance.

    Further reading:

    Baker JD, Harting AL, Wurth TA, Johanos TC
    2011. Dramatic shifts in Hawaiian monk seal distribution predicted from divergent regional trends. Marine Mammal Science 27(1): 78-93. DOI: 10.1111/j.1748-7692.2010.00395.x
    Carretta JV, Oleson E, Weller DW, Lang AR, Forney KA, Baker J, Hanson B, Martien K, Muto MM, Lowry MS, Barlow J, Lynch D, Carswell L, Brownell Jr. RL, Mattila DK, Hill MC
    2013. U.S. Pacific marine mammal stock assessments: 2012. U.S. Dept. of Commerce, NOAA Technical Memorandum NOAA-TM-NMFS-SWFSC-504, 378 p
  12. Myth:

    NOAA Fisheries will be moving hundreds of seals from the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI) to the main Hawaiian Islands (MHI) permanently.

    Fact:

    Survival of NWHI pups to adulthood is lower than those born in the MHI, and the proposed translocation effort is to improve the survival of these young animals. A limited number of weaned pups may be temporarily brought to the MHI, and then returned, once they have survived the critical 3-year period when most seals die, to the NWHI to rebuild the population there.

    Only a small number of seals will be involved in this effort, initially starting with a few pups (probably 5-10) to test the effectiveness and refine the techniques, with a maximum of 20 pups per year once the project is in full operation. Because the seals will be returned to their birth sites after three years, the total number of translocated pups and juveniles in the MHI at any one time is capped. The translocated seals may be distributed at one or more locations in the MHI, depending on how many suitable recipient sites exist. This small number of translocated pup and juvenile seals will be a small proportion of the total population at any recipient site. Any seals translocated to the MHI would thus have a negligible effect on recreational or commercial fisheries or other ocean users. However, NOAA Fisheries is also developing tools to minimize undesirable seal-human interactions (including fishery interactions) in the MHI.

    Further reading:

    Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement Appendix F: Two-Stage Translocation Plan Final PEIS for Hawaiian Monk Seal Recovery Actions March 2014.
    Baker JD, Becker BL, Wurth TA, Johanos TC, Littnan CL, Henderson JR
    2011. Translocation as a tool for conservation of the Hawaiian monk seal. Biological Conservation, 144(11), 2692-2701. DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2011.07.030
    Baker JD, Harting AL, Littnan CL
    2013. A two-stage translocation strategy for improving juvenile survival of Hawaiian monk seals. Endangered Species Research 21: 33-44. DOI: 10.3354/esr00506
  13. Myth:

    The seals brought down from the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI) to the main Hawaiian Islands (MHI) will end up having more pups and cause additional problems.

    Fact:

    The main goal of this effort is to bring all the translocated seals back to the NWHI before they are old enough to have their own young so that these young, healthy seals (mostly females) will build up the population in the NWHI. While there are no plans to conduct this activity in the near future, NMFS is developing the capacity to undertake and manage future translocations.

    Further reading:

    Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement Appendix F: Two-Stage Translocation Plan Final PEIS for Hawaiian Monk Seal Recovery Actions March 2014.
    Baker JD, Becker BL, Wurth TA, Johanos TC, Littnan CL, Henderson JR
    2011. Translocation as a tool for conservation of the Hawaiian monk seal. Biological Conservation, 144(11), 2692-2701. DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2011.07.030
    Baker JD, Harting AL, Littnan CL
    2013. A two-stage translocation strategy for improving juvenile survival of Hawaiian monk seals. Endangered Species Research 21: 33-44. DOI: 10.3354/esr00506