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Hawaiian Monk Seal Myths and Facts

Myth 1: Seals only forage at night. Fact:  Seals feed both during the day and at night, although this varies depending on age and sex class. Monk seals as a whole do not appear to prefer feeding at specific times of the day. This misperception is derived from dietary and behavioral observations. Monk seal diet

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What Sex Is That Seal?

The only way to confirm whether a seal is female or male is by looking at its belly.

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How to Tell Seals Apart

Most Hawaiian monk seals have unique natural markings, such as scars or natural bleach marks, that help identify individual seals. Many seals have identifiers such as flipper tags or letters and numbers applied to the animal’s fur with bleach.   Example of a Hawaiian monk seal with a natural round bleach mark on its right

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Why is the Hawaiian Monk Seal Endangered?

The Hawaiian monk seal is an endangered marine mammal that inhabits, and is endemic to, the Hawaiian Islands.  Despite decade’s long multi-disciplinary research and recovery tactics, the future survival of this species is still tenuous with only approximately 1,400 individuals remaining at the end of 2016. The species is divided into two primary sub-populations.  One

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What Do Hawaiian Monk Seals Eat?

Hawaiian monk seals are “generalist” feeders, which means they eat a variety of foods depending on what’s available. They eat many types of common fishes, squid, octopus, eels and crustaceans (crabs, shrimp and lobster). Diet studies indicate that they prefer prey that is easier to catch than most of the locally popular game fish (e.g.

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Support our Latest HMAS Program Graduates

  In partnership with Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA), we’re pleased to announce completion of our Hawaii Marine Stewards Program (HMAS) training by many of Oahu’s forward-thinking organizations – Oahu Photography Tours, Dolphin Quest Oahu, Twogood Kayaks, Kailua Beach Adventures, He’eia Learning Center, Holokai Kayak and Snorkel Adventures, Kama’aina Kids, Kittie Travel, Pacific Islands Institute and Living Ocean Scuba.

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