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Archive for January, 2017

2016 Year End Review

2016 Total Numbers for Kauai Marine Mammal Response Network

We tallied the efforts of our 70+ member volunteer network over the past year and are excited to share the numbers with all of you. The gradual increase in seal sightings and numbers clearly show that monk seals are doing well in the Main Hawaiian Islands. We want to emphasize that it is the efforts of our volunteers that make this possible!

  •   Grand sightings total: 3,236 (8.9/day) monk seal sightings on Kauai in 2016 (3,321 in 2015 or 9.1 seals/day)!
  •   Kauai population: 56 unique individual seals sighted in 2016 (53 in 2015).
  •   Births: 3 seal pups born on Kauai, all females. One female (RK14) was observed with pup on Ni’ihau. RW06 miscarried early term again, as she did last year at Poipu.
  •   Ni’ihau Seals: sighted 6 new seals in 2016 likely from Ni’ihau (down from 14 in 2015). The Kauai team flipper tagged one of these new juveniles (R7GM).
  •  Bleach marking effort: 26 bleach marks were applied

    Stranding Responses in 2016:

    8 monk seal stranding responses:

  •   RW06 – aborted fetus at Poipu. Infection of RW06’s uterus the likely cause.
  •   RG13 – juvenile female found dead in a Kapaa canal.
  •   NG00 – removed circle hook from lip on beach.
  •   RF28 – captured and transported to Oahu for surgical removal of hook.
  •   RF30 – captured and transported to Oahu for surgical removal of hook.
  •   R8HY – removed circle hook from cheek on beach.
  •   R7GM – removed circle hook from cheek on beach, and flipper tagged.
  •   RH92 – treated seal with antibiotics after dog-attack injuries.
  •   Temp322 – ingested circle hook based on pigtail leader and corkscrew swivel coming from mouth. Unable to capture seal. Later sighted without line/hook.

    3 Cetacean responses:

  •   1 spinner dolphin carcass retrieved and shipped to Dr. West.
  •   1 pilot whale carcass field necropsied with Dr. West.
  •   1 large whale carcass was reported and tracked as it floated nearshore PMRF until drifting away at sea. Likely a humpback whale carcass.
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