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Archive for the ‘KG54’ Category

Monk Seal Monday #146: Long-Distance Swimming.

Red. That’s almost always the color of tags on Hawaiian monk seals that get flipper-tagged in the main Hawaiian Islands. Red contrasts nicely with the shades of gray that are monk seals.

On rare occasions, however, a Hawaiian monk seal has galumphed up the beaches of Kauai sporting black tags with white lettering. The vast majority of monk seals that arrive on Kauai from Niihau are untagged. But a few are tagged, including NG00, N1AA, and NL04.

A couple weeks ago, a report was made of a monk seal sporting gray-colored tags numbered G89. 

Credit: State of Hawaii DLNR/Lesley Macpherson.

A quick search of the monk seal database revealed that the flipper tag of G89 was associated with a weaner, identified in the scientific database as KG54, a female. She was first flipper-tagged as a weaner in 2015 on Hōlanikū, also known as Kure Atoll. Hōlanikū is notable for its location as the most northern and western of all Hawaiian Islands, some 1,300 miles away in Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument.

But there’s an even more interesting story about KG54. It’s this: She was last sighted at Kure Atoll on August 14, 2021 and first sighted on Oahu on September 22, 2021. Here’s the math: She swam an average of 34.5 miles per day in 5 weeks or less.

KG54 is not the only monk seal who has journeyed from Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument to the main Hawaiian Islands. More of those stories can be found here

This is yet another example of the importance of reporting any and all seals to the Kauai Hawaiian Monk Seal Conservation Hui by calling and/or texting 808-651-7668. The next island KG54 visits might just be Kauai.

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