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Archive for the ‘Kaikoa/A00’ Category

Aloha, from the Kauai Hawaiian Monk Seal Conservation Hui!

We are still on the lookout for RA00, “Kaikoa”, a juvenile seal who will be two years old this March. She has not been sighted since February 6. She can be identified with her rear flipper tags, which are red with white letters/numbers A00 (left flipper) and A01 (right flipper), and by her bleach mark, V22. If you see Kaikoa, please call the Kauai monk seal hotline at 808-651-7668, so we can assess her health further.

UnkAM

We had a sighting on February 26 of an unknown adult male seal with a large slice across the ventral neck (throat) at Donkey Beach.  The wound is 
healing, and there is a possibility that this is the injured seal 
photographed on Niihau a couple of months ago.  Please keep your eyes out 
for him, report immediately, and photograph the wound if you can.

V15

We have discovered a new seal at Mahaulepu!  She is a juvenile female, probably a bit over a year old.  Mimi has bleached her V15, and she has been sighted several times since she was first seen on February 23.

V014

 

 

 

 

The juvenile male bleached V014 has moved on to Oahu!  He received his flipper tags there; he is now R5EW, with tags 5EW/5EX.

 

 

 

 

 

 

RK22

RK22 (flipper tags 6FD/6FH) appears to be pregnant.  Recall that RK22 is the mother of KP2 and another abandoned pup.   We are not sure whether she has learned to be a good mom over the past two years.  She has appeared pregnant, disappeared, and reappeared not-pregnant for two years in a row.

Please keep a close eye out for her and/or any lone pups!!  PIFSC estimates that she could pup in early May, but since we don’t know her pupping history for the past two years, this is a vague estimate.

R316

We also have a VERY large, pregnant-looking seal on the north shore, who has yet to be identified.

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It’s been a busy beginning to 2011 for the Kauai Hawaiian Monk Seal Conservation Hui!!  Here’s the latest news for our island’s seals.

RA00, “Kaikoa”, is a juvenile seal who will be two years old this March.  She is looking too thin for her age, and quite green.  The green color in her fur coat is evidence that she has not yet molted.  Hawaiian monk seals molt once per year, shedding their outer layer of fur and skin.  She can be identified with her rear flipper tags, which are red with white letters/numbers A00 (left flipper) and A01 (right flipper), and by her bleach mark, V22.  If you see Kaikoa, please call the Kauai monk seal hotline at 808-651-7668, so we can assess her health further.

RK12 is our six-time mama seal.  She most recently gave birth around Thanksgiving 2009 at Maha’ulepu beach, and was thought to be pregnant again this year.  However, she has now completed her molt!  This indicates that she is not in fact pregnant.  It’s normal for mama seals to take a year off between pups, and RK12 has not taken a break in six years.  Good for her!

The Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center monk seal research team was working on Kauai for a week this January.  Here are some examples of the great work they did to help us learn about Kauai’s seals:

  • RO18, an adult male with flipper tags 6FA/6FB, was bleached V25 at Kauai Beach Resort, and was spotted on Oahu a couple of days later!
  • Three-year old female seal RB24, “Ha’upu”, received a cell phone tag and her tracks have already started showing up – she went south down the coast, and was seen a couple of days later in Kapa’a.
  • R6FM is the new permanent ID for an unknown juvenile female found at North Larsen’s beach; the PIFSC team gave her flipper-tags 6FM/6FN.
  • Adult female RK13 (tags 5AA/ 5AB) has a new V21 bleach mark, and adult male RK05 (tags 4DA/4DB) has a new V30 bleach mark.  Juvenile female RW06 was given a new V8 bleach mark.
  • R6FQ is the new permanent ID for the little unknown juvenile male bleached 
”V16″ earlier this month.

Thanks to PIFSC and all of our volunteers for their hard work for Kauai’s seals!!

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RT12 has his Hawaiian name!  He is Kimo Kai, or “Sleepy Ocean”, named by (and after) vacationing volunteer Jim Maser when RT12 was just a couple of weeks old.   After checking with our Hawaiian cultural practitioners, we have now made it official!

Mahalo-eha (RA36) has been spotted back at his natal beach, Maha’ulepu!

Hawaiian monk seals

Photo credit: Michele Bane

Love is in the air for Kauai’s seals!  We have seen lots of male-female pairs hauled out, entering, and exiting the water together lately.  Some of these included large adult female RK13 with Oahu/Kauai male RO18; scarred female RK30 with our old, dominant male TT40, seven-time mom RK12 with young adult male R4DI, and Oahu male Kermit (RO12) with an unidentified female.   Even little juvenile Kaikoa (RA00) has been seen several times with subadult male RV18, though this pair is too young to mate!

Kermit (RO12), as mentioned above, has returned to Kauai.  But check out what he was doing this summer!!  He had a 2000-mile journey into the pelagic (open-ocean) realm!

Hawaiian monk seal journey

Back on the east shore of Kauai, Kermit lost his cell-phone tag. Thanks to one of our observant and thorough volunteers finding the tag in the sand, we can now learn more about Kermit’s adventure and reuse his tag to track another seal!

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