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Saturday Aug 13, 2022

Endangered Hawaiian monk seal population steadily increases

2022 May 06, 6:59, Honolulu
Hawaiian monk seal Photo: Google

Federal officials say the population of endangered Hawaiian monk seals has surpassed a level not seen in more than two decades.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration officials this week said that the seal population has steadily increased over the past two years.

Officials estimated the population has grown by more than 100 from 2019 to 2021, bringing the total from 1,435 to 1,570 seals. Monk seals live only in Hawaii, including the uninhabited Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.

NOAA has monitored the seal population for almost 40 years. The agency said this is the first time the population has surpassed 1,500 in more than 20 years.

The animals are listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act and depleted under the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

Officials said that while the trend is promising, there are still concerns about survivability as the low-laying islands and atolls the seals live on are threatened by rising sea levels associated with climate change.


Hawaiian monk seals population endangered climate change endangered animals Preserve
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