The Hawaiian name for the Hawaiian monk seal is Ilio‐holi‐ka‐uaua (ee‐lee‐o holo ee ka ooa‐ooa) which means ‘the dog that runs in rough waters.' The Hawaiian monk seal is older than some of the islands of Hawaii including the big island which is only 1 million years old. These critically endangered seals have been on Earth for the past 13 million years and have lived virtually unchanged, in the oceanic waters and coral reefs. They are the only tropical seal known in the world, and the only marine mammal found living only within US waters. The monk seal is also very important part of Hawaii’s natural and cultural history.

The Hawaiian monk seal can grow up to 7 ft. long and weighs around 400 llbs. They eat fish and invertebrates and their lifespan is around 25 - 30 years. Currently there are only around 1100 of these seals left. To put it into perspective there are fewer Hawaiian monk seas in the wild than there are giant pandas. Over the last 50 years or so this seal population has fallen more than 60%.

They are the most endangered mammal in Hawaii, the most endangered marine mammal that lives solely within the United States, and one of the most endangered mammals in the world. Today, the Hawaiian monk seal is critically endangered and headed toward extinction. Tragically, the Hawaiian monk seal is perhaps the last hope for monk seals on the planet, as the Caribbean monk seal became extinct in the 1950’s and the Mediterranean monk seals population has fallen to about 600 individuals.

In order to help save monk seals, the Center for Biological Diversity, has petitioned under the Endangered Species Act for a protected habitat for the monk seals on the main Hawaiian Islands. Now the U.S. government has also proposed protections for more than 7 million square acres of land and ocean. If these
protections are passed it will ensure that the monk seals have a place to live and thrive. It will also help to protect Hawaii's beaches for all who love the ocean.

VIDEO Hawaiian monk seal pup

Please take a minute to sign the petition below calling for a protected habitat for the Hawaiian monk seals.
Expand Protections for Hawaiian Monk Seals

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