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Archive for May, 2013

Field Report: Spring 2013

It’s Hawaiian monk seal pupping season!

Pupping season on Kauai has arrived with the first pup born to R028!  This 7 year old female, who spends most of her time on Oahu, recently returned to Kauai and delivered a healthy male seal pup on May 11th.  Generally, Hawaiian monk seals are known to return to their natal beach to have their pups.  In this case, RO28 was born on Kauai to RK06 in 2006 and is now a first time mom.  We are predicting several more pups on Kauai and as of May 22nd, 11 pups have been born in the Main Hawaiian Islands in 2013.

With pupping season in full swing, we are in need of new volunteers to assist with pup-sitting in addition to our regular duties of responding to seal haul-outs and strandings.  If you are interested, or know of other people that may be able to assist as volunteers, please let us know!!  Please call us at the Kauai Monk Seal Hotline (808) 651-7668 or email us at kauaiseals@gmail.org.

 Hooked Seals:

Photo credit: Mary Frances Miyashiro

Photo credit: Mary Frances Miyashiro

Hooked seal reports have continued on Kauai, with 6 successful de-hookings already this year.  RK13 was recently hooked as seen in this photo.  Kauai Marine Mammal Response Network staff and volunteers were able to cut free 50 feet of heavy monofilament line that posed an entanglement risk leaving the non-lethal hook lodged in the corner of her mouth.  Meanwhile, an Oahu de-hooking team was making preparations for a trip to Kauai, however, fortuitously RK13 dislodged the ulua circle hook on her own.

If you see a seal on a beach, please look closely for fishing line in or around the mouth and of course for hooks.  As always, please use binoculars and do not disturb the seal.  Often the hook is inside the oral cavity and the only evidence is a small amount of monofilament fishing line trailing from the mouth.  If you suspect the presence of a hook or line, please take photos and email them to kauaiseals@gmail.com.

Recently, the New York Times Magazine ran a front-page feature article about Hawaiian monk seals, it’s a must read.  Here’s the link:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/12/magazine/who-would-kill-a-monk-seal.html?_r=0

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