Scientists Optimistic About Rising Birth Rate of Endangered Hawaiian Monk Seal

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Found only around the Hawaiian Islands, the critically endangered Hawaiian Monk Seal population is on the rise with the most recent birth rate increase, which has scientists screaming victory.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program, the seal's pup population is up from 103 in 2013 to 121 currently. The increase might seem minute, but with such a small population to begin with, monk seal births are currently on the rise.

The seals have faced  shark attacks and a lack of fish, which has made survival difficult around the Hawaiian Islands. Also, many man-made obstacles such as fishing nets and hooks, have contributed to their decline.

But a new marine mammal healthcare facility, Ke Kai Ola Hospital, recently opened its doors in Kailua-Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii on a mission to "give monk seal pups a better shot at survival and adult seals a second chance when they need it" and a long-term goal of increasing the species' population. 

Will it be enough to keep this species alive and well?

 

 


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