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iWild: For more see iWild.org

“Dog That Runs in Rough Water”

That’s what ʻIlio-holo-i-ka-uaua” means, the native Hawaiian name for the Monk Seal, today’s Endangered All-Star. Considered critically endangered and featured on the Endangered Species List since 1976, the Hawaiian Monk Seal has lost an average of three percent of its population every year from 1985-1999. The current population is estimated to be only 1,200 individuals. Much of the loss can be attributed to habitat conversion and the density of tourist development in the islands, but threats also include enormous drifts of debris in the Pacific—fishing lines and other garbage entangle and drown many seals—and reduced availability of food. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) is considering expanding the Monk Seal’s critical habitat. In the meantime, find out how you can avoid disturbing the seals while visiting Hawaii, or join a volunteer group trained to protect seals and pups from disturbance at the NOAA Monk Seal site.
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