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Endangered Species: Hawaiian Monk Seal

Hawaiian Monk Seal

Off of the Northwestern and Main Hawaiian islands, you will find these animals enjoying a swim in the ocean or sunbathing on the shore. As cute and cuddly as they are, the Hawaiian monk seal population has decreased sufficiently over the past few years, leaving between only 1,100-1,400 left in the world. Many things threaten the monk seal such as; food limitation, habitat loss, and entanglement. Without proper care, Monk seals are in great danger as their numbers continue to drop.

Fishing nets and lines are often left in the water due to carelessness, and because of this, Hawaiian monk seals have one of the highest documented entanglement rates of any pinniped species. Overfishing is another primary cause of food limitation. Hawaiian Monk Seals mainly feed on spiny lobster, eels, larval fish, flat fish, small reef fish and octopus. As humans fish out more and more of their food, the seals are limited on what they can find, which ends in starvation.

Another risk for endangerment is habitat loss. As we expand our horizons, we aren't paying close attention to what we are destroying. In the past years, Monk seal habitats have decreased rapidly. Many people go to the beaches, but aren't always aware of what they're disturbing. They leave debris and other things that could be potentially harmful for the seals. Many things threaten this amazing species, but with help from conservation groups, they've joined together to help prevent extinction.

Over the years, Hawaiian Monk Seals population have been threatened, but I believe we can all come together and make an impact towards this species. For more info on Hawaiian monk seals, check out the links below or click the pictures.

#biologist #marine #endangered #fish #ocean #seal