Monachus schauinslandi

By: Isai Santiago

Hawaiian Monk Seal

It can grow from 7 feet to 7.5 feet. The females are slightly larger than the males and pups are born at 3 feet. They can weigh from 375-450lb and pups weighing 35lb.

How They Interact and Why It Is Endangered

They prey on a variety of things depending on their sex, age, and location. They can prey on fish, cephalopods, and crustaceans. Adults are mostly nocturnal hunters while younger ones find food in organisms hiding in the sand or under rocks. Some even dive down to 1000 feet to prey on eels. These monks seals are preyed on by Tiger Sharks and Galapagos Sharks. They are endangered because of lack of food, entanglement in marine debris, human interaction (by-catch, exposure to disease, etc.), loss of puping beaches due to erosion in the NWHI, male aggression toward females, low genetic diversity, etc. In 2010 there were an estimated 1100 with the population declining about 4 percent every year.

Food Web, Trophic level Map, Chart

Future Prognosis, Limiting Factors, Extinction, Mass Proliferation, Recovery, Reintroduction

They will become extinct unless debris will no longer be a problem. More females are born and the males are less aggressive. Less by-catch of them also including less human interaction. Limiting factor is that people have to fish for demand and pay, people have to interact to free seals if they are caught in something. They are not reproducing rapidly.

How Humans Can Help

Freeing Seals from debris and by catch. Try to let them have a wider range of space to live on their own without much interaction. Do not feed them or throw scrap bait in the water. Assist in the semi-annual monk seal count. Use a barbless circle hook. And if you encounter a monk seal while fishing take a break then move to a new location.