Semi-Annual Main Hawaiian Islands Monk Seal Count, Oct. 24

October 2, 2015, 3:08 PM HST · Updated October 2, 3:08 PM
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A monk seal buries its head in the sand at Hāmoa Beach, Hāna. Maui Now file photo.

A monk seal buries its head in the sand at Hāmoa Beach, Hāna. Maui Now file photo.

NOAA Fisheries hosts its 17th semi-annual Main Hawaiian Islands Monk Seal Count on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2015, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

The public is invited to participate by spending a few hours along the coastline looking for the endangered Hawaiian monk seal.

In August, the National Marine Fisheries Service issued a final rule protecting nearly 7,000 square miles of critical habitat for Hawaiian monk seals, a species considered among the world’s most endangered marine mammals.

State officials say the monk seal population is down to around 1,100 and falling at 3% per year.

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Participation in the count is open to anyone, and no experience is needed.

Interested individuals must attend one of the following pre-count meetings to learn how to participate:

  • Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015, 6-7 p.m. at the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary in Kīhei; or
  • Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015, 6-7 p.m. at the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary in Kīhei.

RSVP to Nicole Davis, Maui Nui Marine Mammal Response Coordinator at [email protected].

The public can report sightings of Hawaiian monk seals in Maui County to NOAA Fisheries Maui Seal Sighting Hotline at: (808) 292-2372, or the Marine Mammal 24hr toll-free Hotline: 1 (888) 256-9840.

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