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Why is Conservation of Endangered Species Hawaiian Monk Seals Important in Lanai, HI
Hawaiian Monk Seal, or as the locals call it Ilio Holo I Ka UaUa, translates to the dog that runs in rough water. This seal can be found off the various islands of Hawaii including on Maui. The Hawaiian Monk Seal is a rare sighting and right now they are on the endangered species list. For those who are visiting the island and hope to see these adorable animals, Gemini Sailing Tours will share more about the Hawaiian Monk Seal and what you should do if you are lucky enough to see one.
Hawaiian Monk Seals are Endangered
As stated, the Hawaiian Monk Seal is an endangered species, yet are found frequently visiting Hawaiian shores. There are an estimated 1,200 Hawaiian Monk Seals left on our planet. It was on November 23, 1976 that they were officially designated an endangered species and have been protected since then. For visitors, it is important to know that it is illegal to hunt or kill them. In addition, they can not be captured or harassed in any manner. They are so carefully protected that if they show up on the beach, lifeguards and other officials will tape off that section of the beach.
Hawaiian Monk Seal Identification
An adult Hawaiian Monk Seal is usually a dark gray color with a lighter, sometimes yellowish colored under belly. An adult can weigh anywhere from 375 to 500 pounds with females being larger than the males. The Hawaiian Monk Seal pups are jet black and yes, they are so cute. A new born pup can weigh anywhere from 25 to 30 pounds, yet within six weeks can reach up to 200 pounds.
How Long Do Hawaiian Monk Seals Sleep?
You can often see Hawaiian Monk Seals sleeping on the beach on the various islands. Some ask if they are dead, or how deep and how long they can sleep. They actually spend about a third of their life sleeping. They burn a lot of calories fishing and swimming and therefore, require a lot of rest. Other times when they stay on a beach for an extended period of time it’s because mom is nursing her pup. In most scenarios, the majority of seals will spend a lot of time on the beach just soaking up the sun and catching a long rest. When a Hawaiian Monk Seal is found on the beach it is important to maintain a far distance, especially if the locals haven’t roped the area off yet. Avoid direct contact with Hawaiian Monk Seals. They may be cute to look at, but they can get ornery. If you happen to see one while snorkeling, avoid contact with them. Some may be curious enough to come up to you, however it is encouraged that you swim away from them.
Hawaiian Monk Seal Conservation
Some wonder how they can help Hawaiian Monk Seals thrive. One great way is to keep their environment clean and free of human disturbance. Simply by picking up a piece of trash goes a long way and at the same time, helps keep the ocean and beaches clean.
Sailing Tours in Honolua Bay, Lahaina, Ka’anapali Beach, Turtle Town in Olowalu, Molokai, Lanai, & West Maui, Hawaii
Occasionally you may see the Hawaiian Monk Seal with Gemini Sailing Tours during our whale watch or snorkeling adventures. When visiting the Island of Maui, don’t miss your chance to enjoy one of the many Gemini Sailing Tour adventures. Reserve your tour with Gemini Sailing Tours today!