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Monitoring the Hawaiian Monk Seal Population on Hawaiʻi Island

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Villalobos_CI_Hilo.Hawaii_TCBES_Report_2021.pdf Monitoring the Hawaiian Monk Seal Population on Hawaiʻi Island by Carmelita Infra Villalobos 991.3 kB Adobe PDF View/Open

Item Summary

Title:Monitoring the Hawaiian Monk Seal Population on Hawaiʻi Island
Authors:Villalobos, Carmelita I.
Contributors:Canale, Lisa K. (advisor)
Van Heukelem, Lauren (mentor)
Keywords:Hawaiian monk seal
Endangered species
Anthropogenic impacts
community outreach
show 2 moreconservation
Neomonachus schauinslandi
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Date Issued:May 2021
Abstract:This internship focused on maintaining and supporting the growth of the Hawaiian monk seal population on Hawaiʻi island. The Hawaiian monk seal (Neomonachus schauinslandi) is endemic to the Hawaiian Archipelago and is the only pinniped found in Hawaiian waters (The Marine Mammal Center 2021). Unfortunately, they were historically hunted to near extinction (Kenyon & Rice), causing them to be listed as “endangered” under the US Endangered Species Act in 1976 (Gerrodette & Gilmartin 1990; Gilmartin et al. 1993; Baker & Johanos 2003). Although numbers are increasing, current estimations put the population at 1,400 individuals (Baker & Johanos 2003). Anthropogenic factors including fisheries interactions, disease, and intentional killings have all continued to prevent the population from making a healthy comeback (Gerrodette & Gilmartin 1990; Baker & Johanos 2003; Baker et al. 2011). The purpose of my internship with Ke Kai Ola was to help protect the Hawaiian monk seal population on Hawaiʻi island by monitoring the population and educating the public on their importance. Currently, only 10 Hawaiian monk seals are known to frequent Hawaiʻi island but thanks to the support of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, whose partnership and approval makes the work of The Marine Mammal Center and Ke Kai Ola possible, the population has been slowly growing since the early 2000s. The work presented in this report describes the ways that Ke Kai Ola monitors the Hawaiian monk seal population on Hawaiʻi island and educates the public on various subjects pertaining to the importance of their preservation.
Description:A report submitted to the graduate division of the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Tropical Conservation Biology and Environmental Science Professional Internship Track.
Pages/Duration:20 pages
Appears in Collections: TCBES Professional Internship Reports

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