Archive for June, 2022

Monk Seal Monday #167: RM28 De-Hooking

Two-year-old RM28 is a Kauai regular. Last year, she ranked fourth on the top ten list of most reported Hawaiian monk seals on the Garden Island.

RM28 is known to haul out on the South Shore. This past April, RM28 had to be displaced (by a trained team) from the keiki pool at Poipu on two occasions.

But she hadn’t been seen for a couple weeks until this past Friday when she, once again, hauled out in Poipu—this time entangled with a fishing hook and line. A team responded and determined she had neither ingested the hook nor lodged it in her mouth and/or cheek. The hook was, weirdly, located on the external side of her neck. The team was able to successfully catch her, remove the hook, and release her.

Here are some photos. 

PC: J. Thomton
PC: J. Thomton

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PK1 will make four weeks old this Thursday. In that time, she’s grown and grown. She’s swimming for longer and longer periods of time, and she’s holding her breath for greater amounts of time. On the beach, in addition to her size, what’s evident is she’s starting to molt her natal coat.

All the while, Mom is still looking quite large. The question now is just how long RB00 will hang around before weaning her pup. 

Here’s a photo review of the growth of PK1:

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Field Report: May 2022

The Kauai team logged 248 seal sightings this month. This included 27 individually identified seals.

  • May: 248
  • April: 294
  • March: 292
  • February: 233
  • January: 233
  • December: 267
  • November: 168
  • October: 229
  • September: 251
  • August: 213
  • July: 286
  • June: 218
  • May: 209


·       RB00 gave birth to female pup PK1 on May 26. This is the 4th consecutive year of pupping on Kauai for RB00. Pup watch schedule established; no issues so far. The pup is thriving.


·       Monk seal activity in the Poipu area remains high, with several seals hauled out daily on the very busy Poipu Beaches. 

·       Numerous displacements from the Poipu Keiki pool again this month

Molting: 1 seal completed a molt this past month. 

Displacements: It was a busy month with 4 additional displacements from the keiki pool. There were many seals in the Poipu area socializing, mounting, and playing together all day long. It was primarily subadult males that were the issue. The following seals were displaced:

·       R371 adult female – 2 times

·       R1KY adult female – 1 time

·       RF28 adult male – 1 time


·       Volunteers are stretched thin with so many seals requiring intensive management at Poipu. We will continue to recruit additional new volunteers.

·       Volunteer pup watch schedule has been established and includes one 3-hour shift each day.

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Monk Seal Monday #165: Anouncing PK1

In the early morning hours of Thursday, May 26, a robust RB00 gave birth to Kauai’s first pup of the year on a remote North Shore beach.

PC: K. Rogers

Fifteen-year-old RB00 was born on Kauai but lives on Hawaii Island most of the year. For the past four consecutive years, she has returned to her natal island of Kauai to give birth to her own pups. Her previous Kauai pups are all thriving and include RL08, RM36, and RP32.

PK1 (Pup Kauai-1) has been out swimming for 30-45 minute sessions. RB00 is an attentive mother who keeps a close eye on her pup and methodically presents for nursing bouts. Males have been reported to make stop-by visits (RN30 has made several) and RB00 routinely responds with open-mouthed vocalizing.

More than 20 telephoto, close-up, ventral photographs taken from slightly different angles show PK1’s piko (navel) but no penile opening, indicating PK is female!

PC: J. Thomton

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