Friday, June 14, 2024

The Hawaiian Monk Seal Population Has Grown To More Than 1,500


The total population of Hawaiian monk seals, an endangered species once on the brink of extinction, has surpassed 1,500, scientists have found.

Hawaiian monk seals can be found in both Papahanuamokuakea Marine National Monument and Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary.

The COVID-19 pandemic caused the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to cancel monk seal and other research surveys in 2020, and teams weren’t able to get back to Hawaii until the fall of 2021, according to NOAA:

“Following the return of field teams to Honolulu last autumn, population analysis began. Now the numbers are in, and the news is good! We estimate that the total number of monk seals throughout their entire range was 1,570 in 2021. That is a respectable increase since the most recent estimate of 1,435 in 2019. It marks the first time the population has exceeded 1,500 seals in more than 2 decades.”

Learn more here.

(Featured image credit: NOAA Fisheries)

John Liang
John Liang
John Liang is the News Editor at He first got the diving bug while in High School in Cairo, Egypt, where he earned his PADI Open Water Diver certification in the Red Sea off the Sinai Peninsula. Since then, John has dived in a volcanic lake in Guatemala, among white-tipped sharks off the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, and other places including a pool in Las Vegas helping to break the world record for the largest underwater press conference.