Hawaiian Monk Seal Symposium at the 22nd Annual Hawaii Conservation Conference

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; the population losses due to adult male seal aggression and how aggression relates to male dominance to further refine aggression mitigation strategies; a proactive vaccination plan to mitigate a potential outbreak of morbillivirus which could have a devastating impact on the immunologically naïve monk seal population; use of advanced instrumentation (including 3-axis accelerometers, National Geographic Crittercams, and GPS phone tags) to determine monk seal foraging behavior and fisheries impacts in the main Hawaiian Islands; scientific collaboration with local communities to provide them the opportunity to evaluate monk seal crittercam footage and to see firsthand how and if monk seals interact with local fisheries; and lastly understanding and reconciling human social conflicts in the main Hawaiian Islands to build relationships and move forward with monk seal recovery.

Abstracts for these presentations are on pages 67-69 in the conference abstracts book (1.1 MB PDF).