Fraser's Dolphins Green Sea Turtle Hawaiian Monk Seal adult and pup

Protected Species Division

The mission of the Protected Species Division is to provide the scientific foundation for conservation of Hawaiian monk seals, cetaceans and sea turtles in the Pacific islands. More...


News and Highlights

  • 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...
  • November 5, 2014
    After their rehabilitation at Ke Kai Ola (The Marine Mammal Center's monk seal hospital in Kailua-Kona), the very first four patients, 2 weaned pups and 2 yearlings, were returned back to the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI) in early September. More...
  • November 5, 2014
    In 2014, through cooperative support from other agencies, the Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program was able to increase survey effort at Niʻihau and Nihoa Islands which are rarely visited, primarily because of restricted access or limited number of research cruise days available. More...
  • November 5, 2014
    The 2014 Northwestern Hawaiian Island (NWHI) monk seal field season was definitely not typical. In early August, Hurricanes Iselle and Julia posed a serious threat to the safety of our field teams, particularly as most teams live in tents and the islands are low lying with little option to move to higher ground (e.g., the highest elevation at Pearl and Hermes Atoll is 8 feet). More...
  • November 5, 2014
    In spite of the reduced field effort due to the hurricane evacuations, a significant amount of seal survival enhancement activities were accomplished in 2014, particularly during the NOAA ship Oscar Elton Sette research cruise which had multiple objectives in addition to recovering personnel and closing the NWHI monk seal field camps. More...

Recent Staff Publications

  • 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
  • February 12, 2015
    Habitat-based models of cetacean density and distribution in the central North Pacific
    Forney KA, Becker EA, Foley DG, Barlow J, Oleson EM
    [2015] Endangered Species Research 27: 1-20. DOI: 10.3354/esr00632
  • January 14, 2015
    Terrestrial basking sea turtles are responding to spatio-temporal sea surface temperature patterns
    Van Houtan KS, Halley JM, Marks W
    [2015] Biology Letters 11: 20140744. DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2014.0744
  • December 16, 2014
    Dynamics of virus shedding and in situ confirmation of chelonid herpesviruses 5 in Hawaiian green turtles with fibropapillomatosis
    Work TM, Dagenais J, Balazs GH, Schettle N, Ackermann M
    [2014] Veterinary Pathology. DOI: 10.1177/0300985814560236
  • November 24, 2014
    Modeling sea turtle maturity age from partial life history records
    Van Houtan KS, Hargrove SK, Balazs GH
    [2014] Pacific Science 68(4): 465-477. DOI: 10.2984/68.4.2
  • November 24, 2014
    Genetic stock structure of green turtle (Chelonia mydas) nesting populations across the Pacific Islands
    Dutton PH, Jensen MP, Frutchey K, Frey A, LaCasella E, Balazs GH, Cruce J, Tagarino A, Farman R, Tatarata M
    [2014] Pacific Science 68(4): 451-464. DOI: 10.2984/68.4.1